Providing neuro occupational therapy as a remote support service during the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), NHS England advised the country’s 7000 GPs to shift from face-to-face patient appointments to digital or ‘remote’ consultations via phone call or text, video, or the internet.
This method of treating and supporting individuals via a technology platform is known as remote support. (or, in related terminology, telehealth, teletherapy or telemedicine.)
Following the NHS lead, Krysalis is now overseeing the transfer of all our services to remote operation, including neuro-rehabilitation provided by our neuro OTs.
In the coming days, we will be sharing information about this transfer, along with coronavirus guidance updates, with our neuro OTs and their clients and families to minimise concerns and disruptions.
We believe, where practical, all neuro occupational therapy providers should be switching to remote service as soon as possible too, to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How does a remote support service work?
Remote support services rely on cloud technology, the computing power and data storage provided by hosting companies such as Microsoft, which allows people to securely share information and applications across the internet.
Its use in neuro occupational therapy provision enables clinicians and clients to track health statuses and goals, and plan for and provide intervention as needed.
For brain injury survivors and their families, it is also a way to help them better understand and respond to symptoms while maintaining the support and encouragementof their neuro OT through safe and constant communication.
The information can also be easily shared with other approved members of the care team, ensuring an evidence-based, collaborative approach to neurorehabilitation.
What are the benefits of remote support during the coronavirus pandemic?
Remote support services provide a safe and secure way to continue neuro occupational therapy with clients without the risk of spreading the coronavirus infection via close physical contact.
It is also adaptable to the health and time constraints of the client, their families and their neuro OT.
How will neuro occupational therapy sessions change?
The only changes for clients will be in those areas of neuro occupational therapy practice that necessitates the neuro OT’s physical presence.
All other services and support will remain the same and can be provided remotely and securely, in collaboration with other members of the care team, the client and their family.
Will confidential information remain secure via remote support?
Like all members of the UK’s Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), Krysalis and our neuro occupational therapists have a duty of care to meet RCOT standards in record keeping.
That includes hand-written, auditory or visual records, or data held on a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone.
It encompasses, sound or video recordings, emails, diary entries, forms, letters, notes, text messages and duplicate copies.
We also abide by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 which controls and protects the use of an individual’s details.
It will remain a key priority for Krysalis to maintain confidentiality for clients while continuing their neurorehabilitation via remote services.
How will our clients access remote services?
Krysalis’s current operating system is, largely, remote-friendly and so our priority now lies in incorporating and meeting the needs of our clients within that framework.
Characteristically of the OT profession in the face of crisis, our neuro OTs around the UKhave swung into action.
They are currently assessing challenges to remote service access with each and every one of their clients and families, and Krysalis will respond to those findings within the next few days.
Access to remote neuro occupational therapy ideally requires:
- The internet.
- A computer or mobile device.
- An integrated or external microphone.
- An integrated or external camera.
We are working on bringing you the latest up to date content and advice with regards to the Corona Virus. One thing is for certain, now more than ever is that our clients need us. The most vulnerable people in society need our help and OTs the Country over must make every effort to help where we can. Fortunately, at Krysalis we have robust procedures in place for times of crisis. We are ready to support our occupational therapists so they, in turn, can support our clients. We are proud of our profession, few are better placed to provide the vital services currently required by many members of the public. We urge all occupational therapists to use their skills to help vulnerable people to organise their time, to plan how they will safely access food and the required medication, to ensure that those who are isolated still manage to find something that can bring some joy to their day. Throughout history occupational therapy has stood up to be counted...the current crisis to impact our Nation is no different.
We are ready.
We will be updating our information and advice to keep pace with developments in the coronavirus pandemic via our Talking Heads news portal here: