COVID-19 (Coronavirus) updates

Last updated: Wednesday 7th July 2021

Face-to-face appointments

The Apple Tree Centre building is currently closed and we are not offering face-to-face appointments. We are in the process of planning a cautious and phased reopening, and will ensure that all recommended Covid safe measures are in place. Due to the risks to our clients and staff, the difficulty of socially distancing within our centre, and the importance of continuity and reliability in our work, The Apple Tree Centre will continue to offer online-only appointments until further notice.

We will tell the families we are working with as soon as we are able to offer them face-to-face appointments. In order to maintain physical distancing and adequate cleaning protocols, this will happen gradually and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account both the risk and the benefit of meeting face to face for therapy.

We have a significant waiting list for face-to-face appointments when we are able to offer these, so please be aware that it will be some time before we are able to offer face-to-face therapy to new referrals. 

We are continually monitoring the situation in the light of government guidelines and public health information.

New Referrals

We are ready and able to receive new enquiries and referrals for online therapy. We have a short waiting list for most therapies; details vary depending on the age of the child or young person. Please send us an email to enquire about this.  You can contact us here.

On-line and Telephone Therapy Appointments

Wherever possible and therapeutically appropriate we are offering on-line sessions or telephone calls to children, young people and parents.

There are a lot of considerations in relation to offering online counselling and therapy, and this will involve some changes to our usual ways of working.  If you decide to use this service, you will be agreeing to some changes to our confidentiality arrangements:

  • We will use a video-conferencing service to provide the link. We are recommending ‘Zoom’, a service which is used by a lot of therapists, because it doesn’t require you to create an account – we send you a link to a secure and private ‘meeting’ and you can join us online. Zoom communications are established using 256-bit TLS encryption and all shared content is encrypted.
  • Your therapist will use their own computer in their own home. We ask therapists to ensure that their computers are encrypted and free from viruses, and that they are able to call you from a private room where your meeting cannot be overheard. If this is not possible, we will provide an alternative venue for them to use for your session.
  • You might also be in your own home, and will need to think about whether it’s possible for you to have as much privacy as you need for your appointment.
  • We have written a protocol for remote appointments with children and young people, and will ensure that all parents have a copy of this and are aware of the necessary arrangements before any online appointments are conducted.  We will also require you to complete and return a ‘Consent to Remote Working’ form.
  • Your therapist will need to keep some notes about your meeting until we are able to access the files kept at the centre. These will be kept either on a dedicated, password protected Google Drive account (shared with the Apple Tree Centre for continuity purposes), on paper (if your therapist has a secure place to store them), or on your therapist’s securely encrypted computer or removable storage device (eg USB stick). When your therapist returns to work at the Apple Tree Centre, they will transfer all the records into your file and delete their own copies.
  • Your therapist will need to access your contact details from their home in order to set up the appointment.