Updated statement about chiropractic practice during the COVID-19 pandemic
The GCC is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the latest Government advice and guidance and encourages chiropractors to remain up to date with all public health statements. In the Government legislation, issued to date across the UK, there is no prohibition on chiropractic clinics continuing to remain open to provide care for patients.
As the rate of transmission (R) is falling and some of the lockdown measures are eased, many chiropractors are undoubtedly considering the feasibility of offering an increased number of face-to-face appointments and how to safely resume their normal practice. It remains of paramount importance to monitor the situation and to prioritise patient safety and wellbeing at all times. Chiropractors should continue to exercise their professional judgement in determining whether it is appropriate to see a patient.
To protect the health and welfare of patients a comprehensive risk assessment should be put in place that safeguards patients, staff and visitors. Remote consultations should still be the main choice of treatment and providing urgent face-to-face care should only be carried out or resumed if there is minimal risk of virus transmission or contamination, taking account of appropriate social or physical distancing guidance.
All decisions relating to the mode of treatment during the pandemic should continue to be underpinned by patient consent and clear discussion and communication. In making decisions, chiropractors should consider the needs of their patients to receive treatment against the risks posed by undertaking that treatment both to the patient, themselves, and the public, in the current context of transmission of COVID-19.
Updates from other organisations:
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is advising all its members (in England only) that they may resume face-to-face consultations only for patients who need urgent care and those who have progressively worsening symptoms, provided they can do so in line with the safety guidelines.
The UCA, MCA and SCA have collectively issued a statement to their members advising that once deemed safe, following a risk assessment, any return to face to face care, based on need, should be restricted to non vulnerable groups, and to not see the clinically vulnerable and extremely vulnerable groups in the meantime.
Other UK nations:
In the current emergency context of COVID-19, all chiropractors who are practising must ensure that they protect their patients and the public, themselves and others, and should ensure that they have read and implemented as appropriate, relevant and up-to-date guidance in the country they are practising, including:
• Staying alert and safe (social distancing) (11 May 2020) (England) including protecting clinically vulnerable patients.
• Staying at home and away from others (physical distancing) (11 May 2020) (Scotland) and associated guidance.
• Staying at home and away from others guidance (12 May 2020) (Wales) and other associated guidance.
• Coronavirus (COVID-19) Staying at home and self-isolation (accessed 12 May 2020) (Northern Ireland) and other associated guidance.
• Guidance on Shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 (5 May 2020). This guidance is about protecting patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
• Relevant clinical guidance for the local area in which the chiropractor is practising including: Guidance for Healthcare workers, carers and care settings (England), Guidance for Primary Care (Scotland), Guidance for Health and Social Care Staff, healthcare workers and providers (Northern Ireland) and Guidance for Health and Social Care professionals: coronavirus (Wales).