FHT Statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Pictured: link to COVID-19 resources

First published: 18 March 2020

Last updated: 23 September 2020, 12.45

This statement has recently been updated. The areas highlighted indicate which sections have been added to or significantly modified since 21 September, 18.00.

PLEASE ALSO SEE OUR PREPARING TO RETURN TO PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our advice to members has been to adhere to best practice and follow government guidelines, which continue to evolve on a daily basis. As such:

  • on 18 March, we asked you all to restrict your working practices and more specifically, not to provide treatments to clients if you or they were at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • on 20 March, we asked you all to suspend any treatment that involves face-to-face contact with clients, as soon as possible.
  • on 23 March, the Prime Minister announced that everyone was to stay at home unless carrying out essential tasks such as food shopping, exercising, caring for a vulnerable person, or travelling to and from work (if it wasn’t possible to work from home). The aim of these stringent new measures was to help protect the NHS and save lives.

As your professional association, we fully appreciate the implications COVID-19 has had on both your clients and your therapy practice, and we will continue to offer our advice and support where we can, based on the latest information and guidance provided by the UK government, NHS and other authorities. Please revisit this webpage regularly, as we will update it as and when new information and guidance becomes available.

Q. When can I return to treating clients in person?

While complementary, beauty and sports therapists can now return to treating clients in the UK, each country is producing different guidelines for businesses offering close contact services, and some still have restrictions in place that limit where therapists can work or what type of treatments they can provide. Local lockdowns/restrictions are also coming into effect, which may limit how or where therapists can practice. This is why we are strongly advising members to follow guidelines and announcements issued by their local government and authorities, which are being updated on a regular basis.

In England, businesses offering close contact services - including complementary, beauty and sports therapy – have been able to re-open since 13 July. From 15 August, treatments on or near the face (the highest risk zone) have also been able to resume. Please ensure that you follow the government’s Guidance for keeping workers and clients safe in close contact services and any additional guidance in your area, if a local restriction is in place.

In Wales, businesses providing close contact services - including complementary, sports and beauty therapy – have been able to reopen from 27 July. Please visit the Welsh government’s website to read their ‘Close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance’, which was updated on 20 August and combines and replaces their previous guidance published for therapists, and includes new PPE requirements. On the same webpage, you can also access their ‘Close contact services businesses: re-opening checklist’ and ‘Close contact services businesses: a restart risk assessment’.

In terms of treatment restrictions in Wales, please note that the government still 'strongly advises' therapists not to provide ‘high risk’ treatments (on or directly in front of the face), and should only contemplate carrying out such treatments if they have appropriate training, can access to the correct PPE, and ‘are able to undertake the treatment to the face by side-by-side working or from the back of the head to further reduce potential exposure’.

If providing Indian head massage, thermal auricular therapy or earlobe piercing in Wales, these can only be completed if the therapist works “side by side or from the back of the head and avoids prolonged periods of activity in the high-risk zone (the area directly in front of a client’s eyes, nose and mouth) for the majority of the time that it takes to complete the treatments”. For more information, including PPE requirements, please see sections 3.1 and 3.2 of the government's Close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance.

In Scotland, the government has indicated that close contact services can re-open from 22 July including “beauty and nail bars” and “‘spa and wellness businesses”. Their guidance also indicates that for “private health and care practitioners” – including “massage therapists” and “complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers” - therapies should be carried out at their “own premises only”, and therefore not on a mobile basis (eg. in the client's home) until further notice. In a letter sent to the Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC), of which the FHT is a core member, the Scottish government commented, "We don’t want any business to remain closed for a minute longer than absolutely necessary. However, we are asking that massage therapy and close contact complementary and alternative therapy is only carried out on the therapist’s own premises whilst we consider whether further guidance is required for mobile massage and CAM therapists." We have also received confirmation that the same applies to mobile beauty therapy services.

In terms of treatment restrictions in Scotland, any treatment that involves working in the high risk zone (in front of the face) can only be carried out if the service provider can do this from “the side of the face or behind the head”. For more information and guidance developed specifically for those offering close contact services in Scotland, please view this webpage on the Scottish government website.

In Northern Ireland, ‘close contact businesses’ - which the government has indicated in press conferences and news items include those offering nail, hair, beauty, barbers, tanning salons, electrolysis, acupuncture, piercing, reflexology, massage, complementary therapies and spa (but not "thermal treatment aspects, including saunas and steam rooms, hydrotherapy pools and cold and ice room") – have been able to reopen from 6 July.

However, as far as we are aware, the Executive Office has not produced any sector-specific guidelines for reopening these businesses. Links on the Executive Office website eventually lead to nibusinessinfo.co.uk (the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland), which in turn provides a link to the close contact services government guidelines produced for businesses in England (see www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/node/23544) We would therefore advise members in Northern Ireland to follow the close contact services guidance produced for England, in conjunction with the FHT’s preparing to return to practice guidelines.

Those living in the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have been able to return to full practice for some time (click relevant hyperlinks for each dependency).

As and when the UK governments provide further information and guidance, relevant to therapy practice, we will of course update our members. 

Where treatment restrictions are still in place, please rest assured that the FHT will continue to work closely with other industry stakeholders and the various UK governments to ensure ALL of our members can return to work as soon possible.

Q. It’s been announced that there are new restrictions where I live – what should I do?

Even after your country’s government has confirmed that you can return to practice, it is possible that certain businesses might be asked to temporarily close again or restrict their services, on a national or regional basis, if there is a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

We have already seen local lockdowns and/or restrictions in Leicester, and much more recently, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and North Yorkshire.>

As we are likely to see regional restrictions emerge with more frequency over the coming months – with each area imposing and easing restrictions very differently – we urge members to follow guidance from the government and their local authorities as and when this happens.

Q. When the government announces that I can re-open my business, what things do I need to consider?

To help our members PREPARE for returning to work, when their respective government and other authorities indicate that it is safe to do so, the FHT has put together some Preparing to return to practice guidelines, outlining a number of areas that will need consideration. However, if your country’s government or local authority has issued guidance or advice on how to return to work safely, please follow this, as it obviously takes precedence over the FHT’s guidance.

Q. When it’s safe for me to return to full practice, should I be wearing PPE?

As government guidelines regarding what type of PPE is considered appropriate may vary from country to country, we strongly advise members to look at sector-specific government guidelines, where available.

For England, the government’s Guidance for keeping workers and clients safe in close contact services was updated on 11 September, advising that practitioners are can wear a clear visor or goggles, in addition to a Type II face mask, to keep their clients safe.

On 18 September, they updated their guidance on what type of goggles could be worn. The guidance now states:

" To be worn in place of a clear visor, goggles must be close fitting with no obvious openings or vents that would otherwise allow droplets to enter the eyes. Reusable eye protection should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”

"A Type II face mask should be worn with the visor/goggles. Type II face masks are not PPE but will reduce potential transmission to others when used correctly." (See Section 6.1)

If wearing a face visor, please note that both disposable and re-usable visors are available. A re-usable visor must be cleaned and disinfected between each client using normal cleaning products.

Type II face masks are medical face masks and available in two types: splash resistant (Type IIR, typically used in clinical settings) and non-splash resistant (Type II).

To mitigate the risk of infection, it also states: "Unless crucial for the treatment, avoid skin to skin contact and use gloves where possible.” This guidance is open to interpretation and uses the phrases “unless crucial” and “where possible”. If you believe it is not possible to perform a particular treatment with gloves on, or that skin to skin contact is crucial for that treatment, then it is important that you highlight this within your risk assessment, along with what other measures you have put in place to mitigate the risk of cross-infection. For those who are wearing gloves, please be aware that latex or rubber gloves can degrade when working with oil (look for nitrile-based gloves instead, or others that will not degrade if using oil).

For Scotland, the government’s Checklist that should be considered by close contact business owners states: “Staff should wear a visor in addition to a face covering. Visors are recommended but face masks are mandatory. Customers are also required to wear a face covering".

In Wales, the government’s guidance indicates that PPE requirements vary according to the type of close contact services/treatments being given, but from 17 August, therapists are required to wear – as a minimum - a Type II face mask and visor (additional PPE is required if carrying out ‘high risk’ treatments, on or in front of the face). For more information, please see the government's Close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance.

For guidelines from the Jersey government, please refer to their Advice for businesses during Level 2 (Wellbeing, cosmetic and beauty services). 

Q. Do my clients need to wear a mask?

In England, the government’s Guidance for keeping workers and clients safe in close contact services states that from 8 August, face coverings are mandatory in nail, beauty and hair salons, as well as for massage services, and “should not be removed unless essential for a particular treatment – for example, for a treatment on the face area covered by the mask” (please note that treatments on or in front of the face can resume in England from 15 August).

For further clarification, we contacted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and were advised that clients will also need to wear a face covering within a private treatment context, where complementary, beauty and sports treatments are given on a one-to-one basis, even if other people are not present.

If clients are unable to wear a face covering, eg. for health reasons or because it restricts their breathing when lying face down, this must be covered in the risk assessment and other mitigations put in place to reduce cross-infection. For guidance on face coverings, including a list of who is exempt from wearing a face covering in England, please click here.

In Scotland, clients are required to wear a face covering. Please refer to their “Checklist that should be considered by close contact business owners as part of a risk assessment”.

In Wales, the government guidance currently states: “There is no requirement for the client to wear any additional protection such as a mask or face covering, when the practitioner is wearing a Type II mask and a clear visor […] However, Welsh Government supports the right of [those providing close contact services] to decide whether they wish to ask their clients/guests to wear face coverings whilst on their premises.” 

In Northern Ireland, where close contact services are provided by ‘appointment only’ (as opposed to ‘walk in’ appointments), clients are not required to wear face coverings.

However, it is always important to take into account the client’s wishes, and to allow them the option to wear a face mask or covering if that would make them feel more comfortable.

Q. Can I work from home and in my client’s home?

Please note that if restrictions are imposed in the area where you live, you will need to follow guidelines from the government and your local authorities regarding if and where treatments can take place.

In England, the government’s Guidance for keeping workers and clients safe in close contact services states:

“Close contact services include […] beauty and nail bars, makeup and tattoo studios, tanning salons/booths, spas and wellness businesses, sports and massage therapy, well-being and holistic locations […]. This guidance is also designed for those who provide mobile close contact services from their homes and in other people’s homes […] as well as those studying hair and beauty in vocational training environments.”

Mobile therapists in England are also expected to follow government guidelines produced for working safely in other people’s homes.

In Scotland, the government's guidance for close contact services states that while therapists can reopen for business from 22 July, this must be from their “own premises only”. Mobile therapy work is not permitted at this time, while the government considers whether further guidance is required for therapists who work on a mobile basis.

In Wales, the government’s Close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance, states that practitioners who provide close contact services can “provide mobile services from their homes and in other people’s homes”.

However, it is important to bear in mind that even if your country's government indicates you can work in someone else's home, or from your own home, there may be times when it is not advisable - for example, if the client or you are part of a household or support bubble that includes someone who is shielding.

Q. Can I treat a client who has just come back from abroad?

It is best to refer to the government website to see if clients returning from a particular country are required to self-isolate, as this very much depends on infection rates in that country. Please see the following weblink for more information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

Please also note that on 31 July, the government announced that health and care workers returning to England from high risk countries are to self-isolate for 14 days. For more information, please see visit this link.

Q. Do my clients need to complete a special Test and Trace form?

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must use the NHS Test and Trace service. In the event that you test positive for COVID-19, NHS Test and Trace will contact you with instructions on how to share details of people you have been in close contact with recently, which will potentially include some of your clients. 

Under GDPR, you are allowed to share the following personal data with NHS Test and Trace, to help minimise the transmission of COVID-19 and support public health and safety:

  • The client's full name
  • A contact phone number for the client
  • The date and time of their treatment, and the length of their appointment.

 The government advises that “While it is not necessary to seek consent from each individual […] you should make customers aware that their contact information may be shared with NHS Test and Trace.” You do not have to inform every customer individually - for example, you might wish to display a notice at your premises or include information on your website, explaining under what circumstances you might need to share their data with NHS Test and Trace, for example, if you develop symptoms and test positive for COVID-19. (For more information, see the government’s guidance on maintaining records for to support NHS Test and Trace.)

To help members, we have added a simple statement to the bottom of the COVID-19 pre-treatment questions sheet, available as part of Your return to work pack.

Q. Do I need to display a special QR code for my clients to scan?

This depends on the country where you are working.

In England, to assist NHS Test and Trace in England, it is a legal requirement for you to:

  • Log the name and telephone number of all clients and visitors to your business (expect those solely delivering/collecting goods). You must also have a record of the date, time and length of their visit, and if you have staff, who carried out the treatment.
  • Log the name, telephone number and date/times worked by any staff.
  • Store all of the above information for a minimum of 21 days.

From Thursday 24 September, you must display an official NHS QR code at your business premises, so that clients and visitors can scan this, using the NHS COVID-19 app. If you are a mobile therapist, you can download the NHS QR code and carry this with you to appointments.

In Wales, to assist NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect, it is a legal requirement for you to:

  • Log the name and telephone number of all clients and visitors to your business (expect those solely delivering/collecting goods). You must also have a record of the date, time and length of their visit, and if you employ staff, who carried out the treatment.
  • Log the name, telephone number and date/times worked by any staff you employ.
  • Store all of the above information for a minimum of 21 days.

From Thursday 24 September, you must display an official NHS QR code at your business premises, so that clients and visitors can scan this, using the NHS COVID-19 app If you are a mobile therapist, you can download the NHS QR code and carry this with you to appointments.

<In Scotland, to assist Test and Protect, you are required to:

  • Log the name and telephone number of all clients and visitors to your business (expect those solely delivering/collecting goods). You must also have a record of the date, time and length of their visit, and if you employ staff, who carried out the treatment.
  • Log the name, telephone number and date/times worked by any staff and volunteers who work for you.

In terms of apps, smartphone users in Scotland are being encouraged to use NHS Scotland’s Protect Scotland contact tracing app, to help suppress the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Use of this app is voluntary.

<In Northern Ireland, to best of our knowledge, therapy businesses providing close contact services in Northern Ireland are following the same guidance for therapy businesses offering close contact services in England (see ‘In England’, above). As such, therapists in Northern Ireland would be required to hold and store the same information about clients, visitors and staff, for a minimum of 21 days, in order to support Test, Trace and Protect in Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, smartphone users are being encouraged to use the StopCOVID NI Proximity App to help stop spread COVID-19. Use of this app is voluntary.

Q. Can I provide drinks/refreshments to my clients?

Government guidance varies from country to country.

In England, the government’s Close contact services guidance (which Northern Ireland is currently following) states: “Salons can provide hot or cold drinks to clients in disposable cups or bottles. Practitioners should encourage clients to only remove their mask to consume the drink. When clients have removed their masks, practitioners should ensure they are socially distanced from the client (2m, or 1m with mitigations).”

In Wales, the government’s Close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance states: “Do not provide food or drink for clients only water in disposable cups or bottles and not allowing food or drink to be consumed in the salon by clients other than water in disposable cups or bottles. Different procedures might be in place within a destination spa, hospitality, leisure or day spa environment, for the procedures in spas you should refer to separate Welsh Government guidance: https://gov.wales/guidance-holiday-accommodation-businesses-reopening-coronavirus.”

In Scotland, the government’s Checklist for salons and close contact services) states: “Water can be provided on request from clients but otherwise do not offer refreshments.”

Q. Will my insurance cover me during coronavirus?

The insurance policies available through the FHT (Combined medical malpractice, public and products insurance; Personal accident cover; Business stock and equipment; Homeworker; Salon) do not provide income protection.

When your country’s government indicates that you can return to work, providing you follow guidelines from your country or local authority, and the FHT’s Preparing to return to practice guidelines, your FHT Combined Medical Malpractice, Public and Products Liability insurance with the FHT will cover your work (as per the terms and conditions of the policy).

If you have any further queries regarding your insurance with the FHT, please contact us on info@fht.org.uk. Please could we ask you to be patient at this time, as we are receiving a very high volume of queries.

Q. Is FHT offering any training that covers how to return to work safely?

We're pleased to bring members a selection of online courses from FHT accredited course providers, to refresh and update your infection control knowledge, including: Brighton Holistics, Gateway Workshops, and Jennifer Young's FREE FHT-accredited course, Control of Cross Infection in a Post-Covid World. This in-depth course is certified upon completion and comes with a logo to use on your website and other marketing materials. 

Q. With so many training events and conferences cancelled, do I still need to complete my CPD?

Please remember that classroom-based training is not the only way you can gain CPD and with social distancing measures likely to be a requirement for some time, we anticipate a lot more training providers will start offering courses online (however, please also note that not all of these courses will be recognised for membership and insurance – contact FHT at info@fht.org.uk before you pay for any online training).

You can also gain CPD points through other activities you can easily do at home, such as reflective practice, case studies, developing a marketing plan and completing the A&P spirals in International Therapist magazine. For more information please visit fht.org.uk/cpd and read our recent blog item, Development and learning from home.

As most of our members have online access, we have also collaborated with our accredited course providers and event speakers to put together a ‘Stay at Home' video series, to help you complete CPD, free of charge. You can take a look at the videos currently available at fht.org.uk/stay-at-home-video-series and if you complete the accompanying activity document for each video, you can also gain valuable CPD points. NB: the Stay at Home videos are for CPD purposes only and are not to teach insurable hands-on skills.

Q. Is the FHT lobbying the government to represent my interests as a professional therapist during COVID-19?

On the 14 July, we wrote to the First Ministers Scotland and Wales, asking them to provide immediate clarity as to why therapists are unable to reopen in Scotland and Wales at the same time as other businesses offering close contact services, and to allow practitioners to return to work as soon as possible. We are currently waiting for a response from both governments.

On 6 July, the FHT submitted evidence to the government (the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), outlining the impact that the continued lockdown and COVID-19 has had on our members and the therapy industry as a whole. Thank you to all of you who responded to our COVID-19 survey, to which we received 2,042 responses within 36 hours. Some of the strongest sections of our submission were undoubtedly those underpinned by the information you kindly shared with us. We are also confident that this submission, alongside submissions from other therapy industry stakeholders, contributed to the government announcing that therapists in England can return to work from 13 July (with restrictions/ enhanced hygiene measures in place).

Along with 20 other organisations and stakeholders in the complementary, traditional and natural healthcare industry, the FHT is a Core Member of the recently formed Integrative Healthcare Collaborative (IHC). As part of this collaborative, we have represented the interests of our members during the Covid-19 pandemic by:

  • Launching a petition that urges the government to work with the IHC and its Core Members to prioritise a safe return to work for practitioners as soon as possible. You can read and sign the petition here.
  • Sending a letter to the Prime Minister on 25 June, asking the government to publish its scientific justification for preventing complementary therapists from returning to practice. Read the letter sent to the Prime Minister and use this template letter to contact your local MP.
  • Sending a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 10 May, asking if the government would consider how it will assist complementary healthcare professionals to secure face masks, if future advice from the government requires the use of such items when it is announces that it is safe to return to work. To read the letter click here.
  • Sending a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 16 April, asking the government to look at ways to support self-employed therapists who have been in business for less than one year and/or who are not entitled to other loans and grants aimed at supporting businesses impacted by the coronavirus. To read the letter click here.

In addition, the FHT has attended meetings with the Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing All-Party Parliamentary Group (BAW-APPG). Following two recent BAW-APPG meetings:

  • the FHT and other industry stakeholders have sent a letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to reconsider the reopening of the beauty, wellness and spa industry, alongside hairdressers and barbers, and provide immediate clarity as to when therapists will be allowed to restart work. Click here to read the letter.
  • Members can amend and personalise a letter for the local MP, written in collaboration with the APPG-BAW. Click here to download the template letter.

The FHT also signed a petition asking the government for a financial support packaged for directors/ shareholders of small limited companies, which has now received more than 84,000 signatures. Click here to learn more and sign the petition

We will keep our members informed of any progress made.

Q. Is the government offering any financial support for the self-employed?

In March, the government announced a number of provisions for businesses affected by coronavirus, including special grants and loans (for more information see www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support). Some members may also be eligible for Universal Credit but this will depend on individual circumstances.

The Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme launched in March has been extended.

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) on or after 14 July, you may be eligible to claim a second and final grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, even if you didn’t claim the first grant. Some key points features of the scheme include:

  • To be eligible, all of the following must also apply: you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year; you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020; you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected due to coronavirus.
  • If you want to claim the second and final grant you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.>
  • If your business recovers after you’ve claimed, your eligibility will not be affected.

For more information and to apply visit the government website.

Q. Are there any government-backed loans I could benefit from as a small business owner?

The Chancellor announced on Monday 27 April a new, 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses, which can be applied for from 4 May. Here are some of the key features of this new scheme:

Click here to find out more and apply for a Bounce Back Loan  

Q. Is there a quick and simple way to find out if my therapy business is eligible for financial support from the government?

The government’s website now has a quick and simple online support tool to help you find out what financial support is available for you and your business at www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder. It is important to note that on the second page, you will be asked, ‘How many employees does your business have?’ If you are self-employed, simply tick the top option (0-249 employees) as you will then be asked if you are self-employed a little bit further into the process. You can also update any of the answers you have already provided, using the handy links at the bottom of the page.

Q. Is there any government support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations?

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure VCSE can continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including £200 million for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, along with an additional £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts.

To find out more, click here

Other organisations that have resources that may help charities during the COVID-19 crisis include: 
 Association of Chairs
• National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
• Small Charities Coalition
• Welsh Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)

Q. I was providing a mobile therapy service, but as I’m now supporting my clients remotely, from my own home, can a claim a tax rebate on any of my expenses?

If you are working from home, you may be entitled to claim a tax rebate on certain expenses including a proportion of how much you pay for lighting, heating, insurance, council tax and water rates.

If you work less than 25 hours a month from home, it is likely that you would have to calculate this proportion yourself. However, if you work from home for more than 25 hours a month, you can use HMRC’s simplified expenses system. This will calculate a flat rate for your allowable expenses, based on the number of hours you work from home each month, which could range from £10 up to £26 per month. (This flat rate doesn’t include telephone or internet expenses, but you can claim these by working out the actual costs – for more information see www.gov.uk/expenses-if-youre-self-employed).

Claiming a tax rebate on business expenses can only be done via a self-assessment tax return which, as a self-employed therapist, you would submit each year.

Q. My clients need my support, now more than ever. How can I take care of them, until I can return to treating them in person?

We understand that you may be feeling sad or frustrated when social distancing measures mean you are not able to physically treat clients.

As such, we’d like to share some recommendations that we hope you will find helpful:

  • First and foremost, take good care of your own health and wellbeing at this challenging time, including your emotional and mental wellbeing. Find some time each day – even if it’s just 10 minutes - to practice mindfulness, yoga, or a short breathing exercise. Or simply do something you enjoy, whether its baking, taking a long warm bath, exercising or reading a book. 
  • If a client tells you that they have symptoms of coronavirus or they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, please signpost them to reliable information and support (see links below).
  • If you are qualified and insured to practise therapies that can be conducted remotely, such as counselling or other types of talking therapy, you could offer these to your clients as a safer alternative to therapies that involve contact.
  • Stay in touch with your clients, even if you are not seeing them. If they are vulnerable or lonely, they will really value just having a conversation with someone they have come to know and trust.
  • As highlighted further up in this statement, you might be able to offer your clients some tips – over the phone, live video apps or email – about how to stay as healthy as possible while at home. This could include some simple self-help techniques and we will be providing online links and guidance to help you do this over the coming weeks.

Compassion and acts of kindness are key during this challenging time to support those in our local community, and we know this is something our members are perfect at providing, even remotely. Just please remember to be compassionate to yourselves, too.

Q. As things are constantly changing, how can I keep up to date?

We will be continually reviewing and updating the content of this webpage, so please keep coming back and checking it on a regular basis. However, as the situation is constantly evolving, we would strongly recommend that you keep an eye on the latest information provided by the government and other authorities:

Q. Do you have any other information I might find helpful?

Alongside this statement, we have published some Preparing to return to practice guidelines, as well as a return to work pack, which contains lots of useful resources for our members, including a template email, posters and COVID-19 policy. It is also worth keeping an eye on our blog (fht.org.uk/blog) for useful news items and resources -  here are some items we have published on the blog that you and your clients might find helpful:

Q. If I have other queries, how can I get in touch?

As we are sure you will appreciate, the FHT, its staff and board have also had to follow government guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, which includes working from home. At this point in time, we are unable to answer your queries or take payments over the phone (please note membership renewals and new applications can still be processed online).

Until further notice, please contact us by email at info@fht.org.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We will keep members notified if there are any other services we are temporarily unable to provide.

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. On behalf of everyone at the FHT, we wish you continued good health at this challenging time.

The FHT Team