Covid-19 Operating Procedures & Protocols

INTRODUCTION Under these exceptional circumstances the Centre must comply with the latest Government advice (Covid-19) at all times.   These procedures are based on the following Public Health Wales guidance.

Health and Social Care Professionals – Coronavirus

Coronavirus –  Ethical values and-principles

Whilst operating under these new protocols the Centre needs to ensure it protects its staff, members, volunteers and visitors minimising the risk of spread of infection.  If the Centre feels that the health & safety requirements of any activity are going to be compromised and the activity cannot be undertaken safely, it will not take place.  

These protocols will be available in the Centre, on the website and given to staff and volunteers to read.   Any questions or concerns should be brought to the Centre Manager.

GETTING STARTED The Centre Manager will need to establish with the Trustees the days that the Centre will be open and what times will require staff and/or volunteer cover. The Centre Manager will then liaise with Centre staff and/or volunteers to make sure enough cover is provided.  There will be a minimum of 2 people (staff and/or volunteer) in the building at any time.

ACCESSING THE CENTRE Travel Wherever possible staff, volunteers, members and visitors should travel to the Centre using their own transport. Where a member relies on a carer for transport and support whilst in the Centre the care giver will provide all manual handling required and when not needed will wait in the vehicle in the car park.

Where a member relies on a volunteer driver for transport the driver will provide all manual handling required and when not needed will wait in the vehicle in the car park.

The Centre will provide parking facilities for staff, members, volunteers and visitors.  Members will comply with social distancing measures and the Centre will endeavour to maintain empty bays on either side of those in use.

Access and Egress Non-essential visitors will be discouraged Contact and congestion will be minimised at all times by the appointment system Access and egress points will be planned to enable social distancing Entry to the Centre will be managed by allowing time and space to guide members to their therapy point Only one person will be invited to enter the building at any one time with their carer if appropriate.

Carers who accompany Centre members to their therapy will be required to leave the building through the exit door and stay in their vehicle until the end of the therapy.    They will then be called to come in and help the Centre member leave the building.

When a Centre member arrives in the car park they can make a phone call to the office to let staff know that they have arrived or wait in their vehicle for the member of staff or volunteer to come out to them.   In either case the member and carer will stay in their vehicle until invited into the Centre by the member of staff or volunteer. Staff or volunteers will then give the following advice to Centre members and make sure that they do not have any symptoms of Coronavirus or that they feel unwell in any other way.

Screening Advice You should not visit the Centre if you have any of the following symptoms of Coronavirus or are feeling unwell in any way:   A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)   A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)   Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to how they do normally  

An admissions form will be completed each day confirming attendance (for track and trace purposes) and compliance with screening advice procedure.

On the first visit a Covid questionnaire will be completed by all members and any visitor.

This will be updated daily by the screening advice questions on each subsequent visit.

Opening and Closing

Centre staff arriving first and leaving the Centre last will each have their own set of keys to the building

They will unlock the door within the metal shutter, open the main entrance shutter, open the window shutter and the fire doors in the social and tank room.

They will wipe down all contact areas from the entrance door to the office and wash their hands thoroughly after this initial activity.

When locking up all contact points must be wiped down using disposable gloves which will be placed into a bag and then properly disposed of at the Centre the following day.


Keeping Safe

All staff, members, carers, volunteers and visitors will be required to wear a face covering whilst in the Centre.

All staff, members, carers, volunteers and visitors will be required to use the sanitiser provided when entering the Centre.

Skin to skin and face to face contact will be avoided at all times

Social distancing will be observed at all times between staff, volunteers and members.

Used PPE should be disposed of and not re-used.

Staff and volunteers will be advised of the appropriate use of PPE.

Signs will encourage constant handwashing and use of sanitiser.

Enhanced cleaning procedures will be introduced for both staff and/or volunteers and the contract cleaning company.

Measures taken by the Centre to minimise the spread of infection rely on individuals taking responsibility for their actions and behaviours

An issues or concerns raised by staff, members or volunteers will be openly discussed and addressed.   These should be notified in the first instance to the Centre Manager.
The entrance doors and fire doors in the building, front and rear, will be left open wherever possible to improve air circulation.

First Aid and Emergency Service Response

The Centre will make arrangements for anyone taken ill in the Centre – these will vary according to individual cases but may include:

The person driving themselves home

The person being driven home by carer or volunteer driver

The next of kin being contacted to pick them up

An ambulance being requested.

There should always be a trained first aid respondent available to attend the reception area, car park and all other operational areas of the building

If a fire breaks out in the Centre the staff/volunteer providing cover will follow the approved fire evacuation procedure.


One member of staff only in the Office at any one time.

Staff will call members on their arrival and invite them into the Centre when required.

Staff will ensure that there is always a safe distance between the them, members and/or volunteers.

Staff will verbally advise Centre members of the appropriate procedures for their particular therapy.

Staff will verbally direct people to the relevant WC facilities if required

Staff will take-in and distribute the post and packages as appropriate

Volunteers may undertake the above if happy to do so and adequately informed of their duties.

Centre Signage and Information

Members will be reminded of the proper procedure for entering the Centre when they initially arrive.

There may be hazard tape on the floor outside the entrance to the building guiding people to keep two metres apart. 

There will be a defined one way system indicated by arrows on the floor within the Centre to indicate entrance and exit routes and ensuring 2 metre social distancing.

There will be notices on the entrance/exit doors and elsewhere in the Centre reminding people about : 

  • social distancing
  • the need for regular handwashing
  • the need to use sanitisers and where they are located
  • anyone entering the building member/staff/volunteer/deliveries must not enter the building if they are feeling unwell or have a high temperature or fever. They should go home and consult a medical professional if they are able to do so.


Receiving Packages and Post

Deliveries and post will be directed to the designated table in the entrance lobby.

All packages and letters will be accepted on a “no signature” basis

Office staff will use disposable gloves for handling packages and post disposing of them as per the PPE guidance below

Making and Taking Payments

Centre members will be encouraged to set up a standing order for payment

All payments will have to be put through the contactless SumUp machine.

No cash – only contactless card payments will be taken with the machine held by the Staff behind a Perspex screen. The machine itself should not be touched by others.

Social Room and Kitchen

The waiting area in the social room will be cleared of all soft furnishings, unnecessary furniture and clutter. All books and magazines will be removed

The bric-a-brac donation area in the social room will be discontinued as will the jigsaw area.

Within the social room there will be eight wipeable chairs available to use providing social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

All staff and volunteers may use the kitchen but only one person at a time. They must

clean up after themselves and leave the kitchen clean and tidy at the end of each day.



Staff are responsible for checking the WC’s during the day and making sure they are clean and tidy.

Signs will be put in each WC confirming that they are not cleaned after each use and that use is at individual risk.  

Each WC will be cleaned daily by the cleaning company

Adequate supplies of bar soap, liquid soap and sanitiser will be available in each WC for individual use. 

Staff and/or volunteers will ensure social distancing is observed should there be a queue for the WC’s.


Staff and volunteers will use appropriate PPE which will be provided by the Centre.

Single use masks will be replaced at the beginning of each day or more often if required.

Disposable surgical gloves will be replaced at the end of each activity or as often as required.

Plastic aprons should be worn and disposed of after cleaning duties.

All PPE will be disposed of into marked waste bins made available in the tank room and the physio room.  Bags from these waste bins will be double wrapped before putting outside for collection.


All clutter and unnecessary items will be cleared from the Centre including the office.

Only plastic chairs with hard surfaces will be used in the tank and social room to facilitate cleaning.

Staff will wipe down the office desk and chair, computer, card-payment and telephone equipment at the beginning and end of each day and as regularly as required in between with the relevant cleaning materials provided.

Daily cleaning will be carried out by the contract cleaning company using enhanced cleaning procedures specified by the Centre.   Deep cleaning will be requested as required.


Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen Masks

Centre members may bring their own mask for oxygen therapy.  If they do not have their own mask, staff will take the Centre mask designated for the member’s use to their vehicle.

Oxygen masks must be put on before members enter the building and any carer or driver who needs to accompany them must also wear a protective face covering.   These will be available in the Centre if required.

If members have their own oxygen mask they should take this mask home with them to clean and sanitise.

If members use a Centre mask it should be deposited on the table by the main entrance in the boxes provided

Barochamber Operating Procedures

Dives will be run back to back.

Only two oxygen stations will be used at any time, ie 2 users per dive

Oxygen sessions will last for 60 minutes from initial startup and pressurisation to depressurisation and door opening (45 minutes at pressure).    15 minutes will then be allowed to assist members from the Centre, wipe down the chairs, tank door and ramp handrail, change over the oxygen hoses and assist members into the Centre for the next dive.

Staff and volunteers administering dives will wear face masks at all times.

Staff and volunteers will use the PPE provided when cleaning and sanitising.

At the start of each session staff/volunteers using PPE will put out any masks being kept at the Centre for individual members’ use and will take them to the members’ vehicles on arrival.     These masks will be returned to the basket provided by the members when they leave the Centre and will then be cleaned, sanitised and stored away at the end of the day. 

The inside of the tank, door, handles, chairs, ramp handrail and oxygen board controls will be wiped down at the start and end of each day.  If there is a changeover of operators the board controls should be wiped down before the start of the next dive.

Each tank user will have clean masks, oxygen hoses and attachments at the start of each dive.   Used masks, hoses and attachments will be washed at the end of each day in Milton water, rinsed well  and hung up to dry in the tank room kitchen area overnight.   Wet hoses will not be used.     PPE will be available at all times.

If a rollator or wheelchair is used it will be wiped down at the end of the session.
Staff will confirm with the Centre member that they are only taking into the Centre essentials:

A book or magazine to read or mobile device with headphones to watch pre-downloaded content on

A plastic bottle of still water to sip during pressurisation if required

Emergency medication that may be needed such as dextrose or an EpiPen



Members should remain in their cars on arrival.  

They will be invited into the Centre by the Therapists and should enter through the main entrance door observing the one way system through the Social room and within the Physio room.

Members’ temperatures will be taken and they will be asked to use the sanitiser provided.

Members will be asked to social distance whilst in the Centre.

Members will exit the Physio room through the fire door at the end of the treatment.

All persons entering the HOPE Centre must wear face masks (available in the entrance lobby).

Visits and Treatments

A telephone assessment will be made by the Therapists before any Member returns for treatment.   Therapists will use professional judgement and clinical reasoning to decide if any treatment is appropriate. Therapists can decide not to treat a particular Member if there are health concerns.

On their first visit Members will be asked to complete a questionnaire.  

On subsequent visits they will be asked Screening questions before entering the Centre.

Covid-19  Operating  Procedures

Therapists will wear full PPE during treatments.

Used PPE will be put into the designated bin provided which will be labelled.

Therapists will sanitise all equipment after each individual treatment, replace couch rolls and linen, and wash the floors as required. 15 minutes between treatments will be allowed for this.

Members may use the toilet in the Physio room but this will not be cleaned after each user.  

There will be a notice to this effect and sanitiser, bar soap and paper towels will be available for use.

There will be additional signage in the Physio room advising members of the Covid-19 precautions in force.

All soft furnishings and non essential equipment will be stored away.

If towels are needed for a particular treatment members will be asked to provide their own towel and take it home with them.

Couch roll will be used for each treatment.

Pillows will have a water resistant, non porous cover.

The Physio room will be kept well ventilated.

The Physio room will be cleaned daily by the contract cleaning company if treatments are taking place.

Therapists will work in their own designated area but may be required to assist each other for particular treatments.

There will be at least 2m between the designated work areas.