Last updated: 7th October 2022
The Apple Tree Centre is offering both online and face to face appointments in line with our Covid risk reduction procedures (see below).
We have a significant waiting list for face-to-face appointments so please be aware that it may be some time before we are able to offer face-to-face therapy to new referrals.
We have the following risk-reduction measures in place for face-to-face appointments, and we are continually monitoring the situation in the light of government guidelines and public health information.
Apple Tree Centre Covid Risk-Reduction Information
We ask you to be considerate as we continue to work to protect both families and therapists from the ongoing risks from Covid-19. Please don’t come in to the Centre if you have been advised to self isolate or if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. Our policy is designed to reflect the NHS guidance which you can read here. Our usual cancellation policy still applies but we will continue to offer online appointments as an alternative wherever possible.
We are no longer requiring therapists, parents, carers or young people to wear face coverings around the building. However, we do ask you to wear a face covering if you have any cold or flu symptoms. Face coverings do not need to be worn in therapy rooms. We have a supply of lateral flow tests and are asking our therapists to confirm negative lateral flow tests if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, or if they have any cold or flu symptoms. We also encourage our therapists to access regular booster vaccines whenever these are available to frontline health and social care workers.
We ask parents and carers if possible to drop off and pick up on time, stay local and have their mobile phone with them in case we need to contact them. If you need to use the waiting room you are welcome to do so; however we do ask you to consider waiting outside the building if possible. There is hand sanitiser available in the waiting room.
Wherever possible, each therapist will work in the same room for the whole day and rooms will be ventilated as much as is reasonably possible, taking into account changes in weather during the winter months. Client appointments will be staggered between therapists to reduce crossover arrival and departure times.
Clients are asked to bring their own drink bottles as we are not able to provide hot or cold drinks at this time. Individually wrapped biscuits are available in the waiting area.
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 using ‘Google Meet’ which is part of our secure online data storage package. You do not need a Gmail account to use this service – therapists send a link via email and you can either open this in a browser window or download the Google Meet app before your appointment. This is a secure and private meeting space.
Your therapist will use their own computer and may be 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.
All information about you will be stored digitally in password protected, cloud-based storage. See our Confidentiality and Record Keeping Policy for more details.
Your therapist will need to access your contact details from their home in order to set up the appointment.