BACN Covid-19 Guidance - January 2021
The Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 4th January, that England was to go into full lockdown was no surprise, given the rising rates of Covid-19 infection and the enormous strain being put onto our NHS hospitals and stretched staffing levels.
Lockdown No. 3 is different to the previous two as the new strain of the virus is extremely contagious, and as a nation we have been told by law to stay at home where possible, with exceptions in place.
In England, in terms of the opening of clinics the updated legislation has not changed since the previous lockdown in November and does state that medical and dental services can remain open for essential medical services.
The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has had notification this week from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) affirming that personal care services provided for medical and health treatment may continue and that each business must assess whether they are a business required to close having considered the regulations and guidance on business closures:
In Scotland, Health improvement Scotland (HIS) emailed all their members with the following when it went into Tier 4;
“The focus of care should be restricted to essential or urgent treatments of clinically diagnosed conditions where no treatment would have a significant adverse impact on the wellbeing of the patient. No aesthetic procedures or elective treatments should be undertaken”.
The NMC Code, which is the only Code of Professional Conduct we must adhere to, is not prescriptive but a set of statements, values and principles which are not negotiable or discretionary, and taken together signify what good practice by nurses, midwives and nursing associates looks like. I have highlighted a few standards below from the NMC Code to consider at this time.
12 - have in place an indemnity arrangement which provides appropriate cover for any practice you take on as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate in the United Kingdom
19.3 - keep to and promote recommended practice in relation to controlling and preventing infection
19.4 - take all reasonable personal precautions necessary to avoid any potential health risks to colleagues, people receiving care and the public
20.4 - keep to the laws of the country in which you are practising
As nurses we work to a medical model of practice:
Consult fully, competently assess, diagnose, prescribe, consent and deliver and manage appropriate treatments.
We also risk assess and implement infection control and the BACN have published Covid-19 operational guidelines to map against.
Our practice is not comparable to, nor aligned with, those offering cosmetic services who are not medically qualified, and the differentiations between us are increasingly and transparently clear, particularly at this time.
However, what is important now is that we follow government guidance and we are not seen to encourage people to leave their homes when the law now tells the public:
You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary.
There are a list of exceptions including:
1) You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and for emergencies
2) To seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse
You must examine your own aesthetic nursing practice and what this means in relation to the types of essential medical and health treatments you carry out. You must consider what an essential medical service is in your personal aesthetic practice and whether remaining open is justifiable at this time. You would be required to demonstrate that you have determined and achieved a medical and health related benefit and that it is necessary. We all want to get back as soon as possible to working as normal, opening our clinic doors once again and offering that distant memory of the ‘pre Covid -19 service’ our patients once enjoyed.
If ever there is a time to support the government and protect our patients, our staff, our families, ourselves and the overstretched NHS and play our part in preventing the spread, it is now.
The BACN is, and has always been, an association which leads by example, and I am proud that so many members are now offering their services back to the NHS as vaccinators, supervisors and in other roles, and supporting our fellow nursing and medical teams across the country.
So perhaps this is another optimal opportunity to reflect on your individual learning needs, including mandatory training updates such as BLS, and perhaps some of the useful online training which the NHS is offering to those applying for vaccinator/healthcare professional/ supervisor roles.
Perhaps reviewing your existing business model in terms of treatments you currently offer and using the time to research or meet with peers online to engage in discussion about how to improve your clinical practice or broaden your portfolio of treatments. Ensuring all clinic paperwork is current, and even consider writing an article for publication.
Aside from this, I hope you join us for the new events format that we have launched this month. I will be speaking with Tara Glover, our Events Manager, for our first 'In Conversation With' series on Tuesday 12th January, explaining what the BACN is offering this year and speaking more broadly about aesthetic nursing in 2021. Alongside this, on Tuesday 19th January, we also have our first InFocus webinar series with some fantastic speakers. Finally, we also have our Peer Review and Social on Tuesday 26th January led by Lisa Feliz, and it will be a great opportunity to have a catch-up and discuss some of the issues we are all facing. More details about these events can be found here.
From all of us at the BACN, please take care of yourself at this difficult time, and we wish good health to you and your family.
On behalf of the BACN board
Links for you to access updates
Additional Covid-19 related information
The US reports that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine triggering a hypersensitivity reaction in patients who have had previous fillers - see links below. Possible/potential adverse issues. This reaction may be seen with other vaccines and so it is something to consider and update your consent forms accordingly.