Lone Patient Policy and COVID-19

As part of the changes we have made due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to adopt a greater level of telephone and video patient contacts. There may be other people in the room when trying to talk to a patient about confidential or safeguarding issues. Therefore, we will apply a Lone Patient Policy to our consultations.
We have updated our policy specifically for talking to patients over the phone whilst social distancing and self-isolating during the Covid-19 crisis.

1. All members of staff should be made aware of the implementation of this policy and the processes so patients are getting the same information from all members of staff.

2. The Patient version of this policy is readily available and can be viewed on the website or sent via email/SMS.

3. Patient’s should be made aware of this policy’s implementation; that they will be spoken to alone for the initial part of the consultation as standard practise for safeguarding purposes and if they would like their friend, partner or family member to be present with them after this then they can call them into the room/return to the room. This does not affect their right to have a chaperone.

4. To prevent consultation time being wasted, a message will be put on social media/ the website telling accompanying adults that the patient must first be spoken to alone.

5. If an adult wishes to remain in the room with the service user, the professional should inform the accompanying adult that as part of the new safeguarding policy they must speak to all patients alone initially. The accompanying adult can read this policy online if they wish and ask them to wait in another room.

6. Once the patient is alone, the professional should ask Yes/No questions regarding whether the person is safe, if they need help regarding any safeguarding concerns, if they would like a referral to GDASS or if they feel that they are in immediate danger in which case the professional will inform the police.

7. If the patient makes a disclosure of safeguarding concerns, the professional will follow the protocol on the intranet.

8. If the patient does not make a disclosure and would still like their accompanying adult to support them in the appointment then they can call them back into the room.

9. Details of self -referral and contact numbers for GDASS will be advertised on the practice website and social media.