Client Version

POLICY OUTLINE

Building Blocks Therapy is committed to providing a safe environment to staff and clients as well as providing continuity of care for our clients. In a pandemic, extra procedures and processes need to be followed to minimise risk for staff and clients. 

As a pandemic becomes more severe and the risk to clients and staff increase, the operating model (stages) of the clinic will alter in response, to minimise the risk to staff and clients. 

Building Blocks Therapy will use information obtained from a range of sources including the Federal and State Government Health Authorities, international bodies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and also local authorities and professional bodies in order to determine which stage the clinic will operate under.

The clinic Director is responsible for activating this Pandemic Response Plan. 

DEFINITIONS

Clients

  • Children and families who attend the clinic for therapy. This also refer to clients visiting our educational shop to purchase resources

Clinicians

  • All therapist employed at Building Blocks Therapy

Non-Clinical Staff

  • All administration staff 

Infection Control

  • The practical solutions designed to prevent harm caused by infection of clients and staff

OBJECTIVE

  • To enable Building Blocks Therapy to plan, prepare, respond and recover in the event of a pandemic.
  • Provide timely and accurate information to our clients and staff
  • To reduce the risk of serious illness and death
  • To reduce the emergence/spread of a potential pandemic outbreak at BBT, to the extent that this ispossible.
  • Maintain continuity of BBT client support during a pandemic in the most appropriate format and to the best extent possible given advice from World Health Organisation and Chief Medical Officer for Australia
  • To reduce the risk of significant business interruptions

PROCEDURE

  1. Communicate materials with information about the pandemic to staff and clients (e.g. hygiene and cough etiquette)
    • Information about the pandemic and how to implement precautions will be distributed to clients via the use of email and social media platforms. 
    • Information about hygiene procedures to be placed around the clinic 
    • Information about the pandemic, precaution measures and hygiene measures are communicated to staff via usual communication methods. 
    • Advise staff and Clients to follow recommendations set by the World Health Organization and Chief Medical Executive Officer of Australia. 
    • Advise staff of Operations Management Plan and their roles through email and/or face to face discussion 
  2. Review Building Blocks Therapy Procedures 
    • Infection Control: Ensure policy is in line with recommendations by Public Health Authorities
    • Risk Management Plan needs to be completed to ensure clear decisions can be made about the business.
    • Cancellation Policy to be reviewed and reconsidered where clients are affected by the pandemic
      • During a pandemic outbreak, Building Blocks Therapy’s upmost priority is the health and well being of all staff and clients. 
      • Clients are encourage to follow the recommendations set out by the World Health Organisation and Chief Health Officer.
      • Cancellation fee will be waived in the instance where:
        • A client receives notification of having been in direct contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19
    • Service Delivery – Review Alternative Therapy options
      • Clients who do not wish to attend the clinic or where advice is given not to offer any clinic sessions, can continue to access our support in the following ways
        •  Telehealth options
        • Telephone consults
        • Homework/activity packs
        • Request for report writing
  3. Implement Multiphase Operational Approach
    • The various Operating Stages are listed below. 

Guidelines for Stages 1 – 4:

  • Any staff member who returns from at risk areas is asked to self-isolate for the period of time specified by the government recommendations (for Covid-19 the recommended isolation period is 14 days).
  • Any staff member who comes into contact with a person known to have the virus during the infective period is asked to self-isolate for the recommended period (14 days).
  • Staff may deliver care from home via Telehealth or phone or non-face to face services.
  • Any client who comes into contact with a person known to have the virus will be offered a Telehealth or phone appointment for the period of isolation. 
  • All people entering the clinic will be asked to complete a Covid-19 Declaration.
  • If a person with the virus attends the clinic without knowing they have the virus – any person working that day will have to self-isolate for 14 days. The clinic will be closed and cleaned professionally. All families who attended the clinic on the day will be notified immediately. The clinic will be reopened once sterilised.
  • All staff or clients who have cold/flu symptoms will not be allowed to come to the clinic. Telehealth session will be offered in cases where staff and clients are well enough for this to occur.
  • If a school has been shut down due to an existing case of infection or a suspended case of infection the child will be required to have their session remotely via Telehealth until the threat of the infection is known. 
  • If a school has shut down due to an existing case of infection or a suspended case of infection the therapist will be required to have their sessions remotely via Telehealth until the threat of the infection is known.

Entering our clinic – COVID 19 (stage 1-4)

During all stages here at Building Blocks Therapy we are going to do our best to provide a safe, sanitised and Covid-19 free environment.  We can only do so much to protect those who enter the clinic environment, so we ask that by entering the clinic you are declaring that you fully accept and consent to: 

  • All associated risk for you and your child involved with a face to face service at this time including any small risk of COVID-19 spread and infection.
  • Engaging in all required sanitizing practices the clinic is enforcing, including respecting social distancing and sanitizing on entry and exit.
  • Your child only attending the clinic with one adult – no siblings will be allowed.
  • Keeping your phone near you (if you are not in the session with your child) in case we need quick communication with you for any reason throughout your child’s session.

Operating Stages

Telehealth Requirements

This list details the essential operational requirements in order to safely delivery telehealth services to clients where an Occupational Therapist is required to provide a service from the clinic or their home, and where the client is required to receive these supports in their home environment. This list provides the requirements for both Occupational Therapist and client and both should be understood by the other:

Occupational Therapy

  • To deliver supports via telehealth and sessions from inside a private, confidential and appropriateroom.
  • To continue to meet and uphold the strict moral and ethical codes you are bound by and as listed in our code of ethics. This includes considerations like ensuring confidentiality, client right to privacy, data protection, client safety, appropriate service etc.
  • Occupational Therapists have the right to terminate a service if they determine that the client is unable to meet criteria for an appropriate service to be delivered.
  • This mode of therapy will be considered a short term arrangement which will remain at the Occupational Therapists discretion or be informed as part of Building Blocks Therapy policy change.
  • Occupational Therapists must have access to a well-functioning device (i.e. iPad, Laptop, Desktop computer) that will be able to provide adequate telehealth services to the client.

Client Requirements

When your child begins online sessions, you acknowledge responsibility for:

  • Ensuring your child is dressed appropriately for receiving the occupational therapy supports.
  • Having access to a well-functioning device i.e. iPad, Laptop, Desktop computer. BBT cannot be responsible for technology failures for those receiving the therapy. Appointments will still follow the standard session length times (usually 45 minutes in length).
  • Internet fees / costs associated with running device and any upgrades / downloads necessary for the provision of the service to be received.
  • Creating a safe, confidential and quiet space for them to access therapy, without distractions of other people (who are not guardians or parents assisting the therapy) in the home.
  • Supervising your child where necessary should your Occupational Therapist require facilitation from home (for example: this may be to assist your child to stay focussed on the session and the contents and not be distracted during the therapeutic time)
  • Ensuring your child is in an area free of personal items that may compromise their personal rights to confidentiality 
  • Please note that sessions are not allowed to be recorded for privacy purposes unless written consent is given from both parties involved.

Other Information

To inform BBT therapy staff of current conditions and requirements for their service, clients and workers are required to make their intention known through phone call (ph: 03 9404 0338) or email ().

Resources

  • Telehealth Consent Form will need to be completed for each child accessing therapy this way
  • ‘Supply List for Telehealth’: Form that can be sent out to families to determine what resources they have at home available to be use during therapy sessions.