In the last week, we have been contacted by a few clients who have travelled abroad and returned with heavy colds and have cancelled their appointments, so as not to spread germs. It is worth remembering that hearing tests can be affected by a cold, so it is best to reschedule your appointment until you are feeling 100%.
Please don’t be offended if we suggest an appointment is re-scheduled if you arrive and are unwell. We are just looking after your health, our other clients and our staff.
We have a strict hygiene protocol at Help in Hearing. We wash our hands before, during and after every appointment. We wear protective gloves for all ear care appointments and have a well-stocked supply of antibacterial wipes and hand sanitisers. We keep our equipment scrupulously clean, using single use equipment wherever possible.
We have young and elderly clients who are more prone to picking up infections so please do let us know if you are unwell. It is our policy to inform clients if our audiologists have heavy colds at any time, so that they have the option of postponing an appointment.
Please see below information on Coronavirus and our approach to the situation. In summary, we ask that visitors and staff who have recently returned from high-risk areas (see below) follow government guidance and, if in any doubt or if you have any concern or symptoms, do not to visit us for at least 14 days from return to the UK.
At Help in Hearing we are monitoring the UK government’s information and advice on Coronavirus. Up-to-date information can be found here on the government coronavirus website. This information is updated regularly and any clients or staff who are concerned are encouraged to check this site for the most current information.
In summary, the advice about returning travellers is that anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing coughing, fever or shortness of breath, should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19 February, should call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if they do not have symptoms:
• Specific lockdown areas in northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy including in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano; and in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo
• ‘Special care zones’ in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea including Daegu and Cheongdo
• Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)
Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19 February and develops symptoms, however mild, should stay indoors at home, avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. They do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms.
• Northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
All our staff and anyone who has visited our practice are asked to advise us if they are diagnosed as having contracted Coronavirus, or have been in proximity to someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus in the last 14 days.
Information about the virus itself and how to prevent it spreading can be found on the NHS website. In line with this advice, we ask visitors and staff to ensure they are regularly washing their hands with soap and water, to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and to dispose of any tissues when used.