SpeechEase has developed new working methods as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease into a strange ‘new normal’. The goal is to protect your health and ours, while helping you or your child to continue developing vital communication skills.
For the foreseeable future, we plan to see most clients through telehealth. For many clients, this is a convenient, risk-free way to benefit from speech therapy. If telehealth is not a viable option for you then there are a limited number of in-clinic appointments (and, in very rare cases, home visits).
Read on to learn about our COVIDSafe practices and what to expect if you’re coming to see us in the clinic, or we’re coming to see you at your home.
COVID-19: Help Us Help You
Life has changed.
We’re not in lockdown anymore but we still don’t have the vaccine or cure for COVID-19. That means we’re all having to live and work in ways that don’t feel normal yet such as social distancing, staying home if even slightly unwell and keeping everything very, very clean.
A COVIDSafe Approach to Speech Therapy
SpeechEase has spent considerable time developing a plan for how we will work over the coming weeks and months.
We’re seeking to protect your health and ours, while helping you or your child to continue developing vital communication skills.
With those goals in mind, all SpeechEase team members:
- Have completed Infection Control training
- Are screened on entry to the clinic each day
- Are encouraged to install and run the COVIDSafe app on their phones
- Will minimise contact with one another, keeping the recommended 1.5m away at all times
- Will remain home and rearrange your appointment if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and must show a negative COVID-19 test before returning to the clinic
- Will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary
- Will ensure appointments are spaced out to reduce the number of people in the clinic at any one time
- Have removed all soft toys and play items, leaving only easily cleaned hard toys
- Will disinfect anything one client touches before the next client’s appointment.
Our clinic is also doing more frequent and intensive cleaning to reduce any risk of spreading COVID-19.
Here’s how we’ll be running things for the foreseeable future.
We ask that, wherever possible, you continue using telehealth for your speech therapy.
Because we see each other virtually rather than face-to-face, telehealth eliminates any risk of transmitting COVID-19. It’s the safest option for everyone.
Online therapy means you can continue building skills from the comfort and safety of your own home. Many clients love the convenience of telehealth and have done extremely well in their therapy over the last few months – some even better than when they were coming into the clinic!
If you are coming to the clinic for an appointment, we ask that you:
- Download the COVIDSafe app to your smartphone so that contact tracing is easier, should it be necessary
- Respond to your reminder text before your appointment, declaring that you are well and have not been in contact with someone with a known case of Covid-19 in the last 14 days
- Wait outside in your car and text us to advise of your arrival and your car registration
- Let us screen you for COVID-19 symptoms before we invite you into the clinic
- Leave other children at home – only the client and one support person will be allowed into the clinic
- Remember to keep at least 1.5m from our team members.
DO NOT attend your appointment if you have any – even the mildest – symptoms of a cold or flu. We are happy to rearrange, even at very short notice, rather than run the risk of infection. If you arrive with cold or flu symptoms you will not be allowed into the clinic.
We will consider providing a home visit in rare circumstances.
If you are offered a home visit, then we ask that you protect our team and other clients that we may be seeing that day by:
- Using the COVIDSafe app
- Rearranging the visit if you or anyone in your household has cold or flu symptoms
- Considering whether we could meet in your garden or a nearby park rather than indoors
- Understanding that our therapist will try to remain 1.5m from you and may be wearing a mask, gown or gloves
- Disinfecting commonly touched surfaces like door handles, benches or tables before the visit
- Asking other family members to remain in a separate room so that our therapist only sees the client and one other support person (e.g. a child, supported by one parent with other siblings playing in a different room).
What Hasn’t Changed
COVID-19 has changed the way we run SpeechEase but it hasn’t changed our ethos.
We continue to be the same upbeat, encouraging team of therapists delivering evidence-based therapy in a fun and engaging way. We’ll keep supporting you, working alongside you and celebrating progress.
Please give us a call on 1300 773 273 to book your next appointment.