COVID-19 Policy – A guide for patients at The Maitland Clinic

5th January 2021

New national restrictions from 4th January 2021

The government has published rules and restrictions relating to COVID-19 which stress the importance of staying at home during this crisis.  This guidance can be accessed here. The rules state that medical services can remain open and that travel for medical appointments is permitted.

The Maitland Clinic carries out medical services and specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss and its associated psychological symptoms. We recognise the psychological impact caused by hair loss, including anxiety and reduced self-esteem and self-confidence.

You may feel that it is appropriate to delay your hair restoration consultation or treatment until the COVID-19 national lockdown has been lifted. We would fully support you in this decision and would be pleased to explore alternative dates later in the year.

However, we appreciate the significant medical benefits that can be gained from hair restoration, in terms of reduced anxiety and improved self-esteem and self-confidence. We are also aware of the major psychological and logistical steps that have been undertaken in order to secure a date for your procedure. Therefore, if you feel that your medical hair restoration procedure is essential at this time, we would be pleased to carry out your treatment as planned and will do all that we can to support you in making your travel and your time at The Maitland Clinic as safe and COVID-secure as possible.

 


 

COVID-19 Hair transplant policy at The Maitland Clinic

The Maitland Clinic COVID-19 policy

The Maitland Clinic is operating as a COVID-protected facility. Current government guidelines and those from medical bodies such as the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) have provided a clear framework on which we have been able to maintain The Maitland Clinic as a COVID-secure workplace and a COVID-protected medical facility.

As a world-class hair transplant clinic, our clinical policies and high standards in infection control have always provided a very safe clinical environment for our patients. We have integrated the latest government guidance into our already-robust policies so that we can be confident in offering the most up-to-date and clinically safe experience possible at The Maitland Clinic.

The ISHRS has helpfully outlined the following advice for patients when looking for a clinic.

Look for a clinic that is a “COVID-Protected Facility”

A COVID-protected facility…

  • Routinely asks patients for a relevant COVID-19 history of their own health and their contacts. It is important that patients provide accurate information.
  • Follows social distancing guidelines by limiting contact of patients with one another whether in consultation or in a procedure and will arrange waiting room seating accordingly.
  • Uses suitable equipment/PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) as recommended by Public Health England.
  • Routinely uses relevant health histories and daily temperature monitoring of all clinic staff and patients as part of their strategy to prevent contagion. Additionally, and where available, follows all government guidelines on use of testing to monitor staff.
  • In addition to using proper PPE, it uses appropriate cleansing, disinfecting and sterilisation procedures throughout the clinic. It also uses proper waste disposal methods for any materials that could be contaminated.
  • Advises patients of hand washing protocols in the office/clinic and how to change gloves, gown and masks.
  • Assures the public that the staff have received additional training with regards to proper COVID-19 infection control methods.
  • And perhaps most importantly, the surgeon you have chosen is the one performing the surgical steps of your procedure, rather than delegating it to unlicensed technicians.

 

Screening tests for COVID-19

In order to align our COVID-19 protocols with those practiced within the NHS, we request all hair transplant patients undergo a COVID-19 PCR swab test and then self-isolate for 3 days before their procedure. This is in line with published NICE guidance on planned surgical procedures.

PCR nasal/throat swab tests are designed to detect whether or not someone is currently carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Our patients are welcome to arrange their own PCR test through one of the government approved providers. Alternatively, we can send patients a government approved PCR nasal/throat swab test kit with a pre-paid return envelope for a cost of £95 and the result will be sent directly to The Maitland Clinic. The test kit is CE marked and analysis is performed in an ISO15189 UK laboratory that is approved to share information with Public Health England (PHE) as part of the government’s NHS Test and Trace programme.

We have an arrangement with Everything Genetic Ltd for our COVID-19 patient screening. They are a government recommended COVID-19 screening service and their practices are fully GDPR compliant. The Everything Genetic Ltd privacy policy can be viewed here. Any positive COVID-19 results would automatically be shared with the government’s Test and Trace programme.

Everything Genetic Ltd are bound by statutory requirements for reporting of notifiable infectious disease to Public Health England. All laboratories in England performing a primary diagnostic role must notify PHE of specified causative agents (organisms), in accordance the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010. SARS-COV-2 is the notifiable causative agent for Covid-19. All proper officers must disclose the entire notification to PHE. Covid-19 is a notifiable infectious disease.

PHE has approval from the Secretary of State to process confidential information associated with notifiable causative agents and notifiable infectious diseases without patient consent under Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

Public Health England will share data with NHS Test, Track and Trace for positive Covid-19 cases. The information you give will be handled in strict confidence and will only be kept and used in line with data protection laws. It will help them to contact people who are at risk of having been exposed to coronavirus and explain what they must do to help prevent the further spread of the virus.

All information provided to NHS Test and Trace is held in strict confidence and will only be kept and used in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.

All staff at The Maitland Clinic undergo twice weekly screening using a SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test (lateral flow nasal swab).

 

Reducing footfall within the clinic

In order to reduce footfall within the clinic, we do not carry out face-to-face consultations on the same day as our hair transplant surgery and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments. All face-to-face consultations are held on a specific day to reduce exposure to our patients who are undergoing procedures. Where possible, we encourage consultations to be held via video calls for the convenience of our patients and in order to maintain social distancing.

When travelling to the clinic, we encourage patients to avoid public transport if possible. All our staff travel to work on foot or by private car.

In order to avoid contact between visitors to the clinic on consulting days, we have closed our waiting room and ask patients to call the clinic when they arrive and wait in their car or in the building atrium. Once we have cleaned all hard surfaces in the consulting room, we call the next patient and ask them to enter the clinic.

As a further attempt to reduce exposure, we ask all visitors to try to come alone. We can explore ways to minimise risk if it is important for someone to bring another member of their household with them.

 

Before entering the clinic

We ask all our patients and staff to strictly comply with government guidelines with respect to travel, social distancing and hand hygiene.

All patients booked for consultations or treatments at The Maitland Clinic are asked not to attend if they display any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, 0r if they have been exposed to any contacts with suspected infection.

We ask all patients to complete a screening questionnaire 48 hours before arrival at the clinic to establish the potential risk of COVID-19 exposure during the preceding 10 days.

Before entering the clinic, all staff and all patients attending for consultations or treatment are asked to complete the COVID-19 screening questionnaire for a second time to ensure that there have been no changes in their exposure or the development of any symptoms.

Before entering the clinic all staff and all patients have their temperature checked with a non-contact infrared thermometer.

Any individuals identified by screening questionnaire or temperature check as high risk will be asked not to enter the clinic and to seek medical assessment in line with Public Health England guidelines.

 

Within the clinic

Within the clinic, we attempt to maintain social distancing wherever possible. However, during the course of a scalp assessment or treatment, it will not be feasible to remain 2m from our clinical staff. Staff and patients are therefore provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with Public Health England guidelines. Our staff wear type IIR surgical face masks, visors/eye protection, aprons/gowns and gloves throughout all clinical contact with our patients.

On entering the clinic, all patients attending for consultations, PRP or surgery are asked to wear face masks for the duration of their visit (gloves, visors/eye protection and gowns are available but not currently recommended). All patients are taught how to safely put on and take off their face mask in line with government guidelines. Before putting on a mask, hands should be cleaned with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water (washing for at least 20 seconds). The mask should cover above your nose and below your chin, with the metal nose strip bent to fit your face snuggly, ensuring there are no gaps between your face and the mask. It is important to avoid touching the mask while using it. If the mask is touched, you should clean your hands again with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. The mask should be replaced if it becomes damp or difficult to breathe through.

Alcohol-based hand gel is readily available throughout the clinic for patient and staff use.

 

Cleaning

Our robust cleaning policy has been updated in line with government guidelines. Within a treatment or consulting room, all hard surfaces are thoroughly disinfected between patients and all contact points such as door handles are cleaned every 2 hours. All waste is disposed of daily and in line with current guidelines.

 

Recovery

We take every possible precaution to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at The Maitland Clinic. However, there is always a risk of exposure while the virus remains prevalent in the community. We ask all patients to complete a specific COVID-19 consent form to acknowledge this.

 

Practical issues

We are sorry that the current COVID-19 situation prevents us from providing our usual meal service for patients. In order to reduce infection risk, we recommend that patients bring their own lunch.

As hotels are currently closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, most patients will need to travel to and from the clinic on the day of their consultation or procedure. Although this is likely to create a long day for a patient undergoing hair transplant surgery, this should not present a problem as long as somebody else is allocated the driving.

 

Reassurance

If you have any concerns or questions regarding your upcoming appointment at The Maitland Clinic please don’t hesitate to get in touch by phone (02392 706122) or email (enquiries@themaitlandclinic.com).