Face to Face Consultations

Last updated 02.06.20

Face to face or not? Guidance for members across the UK

Health Services across the UK are preparing to re-start non-covid services. While each country and crown dependency is at a slightly different phase of re-starting services, all are making preparations for a phased restart.

Nowhere do these changes signal a return to ‘business as usual’, however, you will want to prepare your practice and its capability to offer face to face appointments when virtual means of delivering physiotherapy are not effective or appropriate.

The following advice will help you to decide whether your practice is ready to restart beyond offering remote services. Click here for further guidance.

We have also created a practicalities checklist for urgent face to face consultations to assist with individual decision making. Use this in conjunction with the full CSP guidance.

Last updated 02.06.20

Are there any COVID-19 considerations I need to think about as part of gaining informed consent for my patients to proceed with a Face to Face physiotherapy appointment?

Yes. Informed consent means that there is evidence of information exchange and shared decision-making between you and your patient, so that the patient is able to make their own decision to agree to treatment based on receiving information that is relevant to them. In the current situation, that will also include a patient agreeing to a face to face appointment and understanding what the impact of COVID-19 has on their expectations of treatment and the clinic/visit processes.

Informed consent cannot be evidenced by a tick in either a box or a template. There must be evidence that demonstrates the information exchanged and/or conveyed to your patient, and any discussion that have taken place as a result of any questions that the patient has asked, which must now include things related to COVID-19.

You have a professional duty to explain to patients how you are adapting your practice and your clinic/visit environment in the light of COVID-19 to ensure a safe working and clinical environment for both staff and patients. You are not expected to know everything about COVID-19, but you are expected to draw on relevant advice and guidance from Government and professional sources to understand the implications for your particular scope of physiotherapy practice.  You must keep records of what adaptations you have put in place and/or your risk assessments, in case you are ever called upon in the future to justify your decision to see a patient face to face and describe what measures were in place at that time.

Remember, there will be a variety of information sources that can be used to evidence the information about COVID-19 provided to patients, some of which will be open access and some of which may be contained within individual clinical records. For information that is open access, you must ensure that, if you have responsibility for them, you manage version-control of documents and that you retain accessible copies of information contained in web-pages or in e-mails.

For example, you may describe your clinic/visit COVID-19 adaptations and processes in e-mails to patients, website information, clinic policies and procedures and information displayed in waiting areas. You may also wish to include information about specific COVID-19 requirements in Patient Information Leaflets or appointment letters that are sent to patients. You can use the 7-Factor checklists as evidence of your risk assessment in adapting your clinic and justifying the decisions made to see patients face to face.

Within individual clinical records, you must keep a record of any COVID-19 screening questions and/or assessments made as part of a virtual or face to face appointment. Your clinical record of any face to face appointment must record what PPE was used and/or was not available. As is already required, your clinical records must include evidence of relevant clinical findings, decisions made and actions taken, information provided and questions raised by the patient. Your record must also include your clinical opinion, details of any advice, treatment and intervention provided, warnings given and plans for progress, monitoring and follow-up and discharge from care.

Last updated 29.05.20

Is the PLI cover provided within my CSP membership affected if I return to some face to face following all risk assessment and clinical reasoning?

Last updated 13.05.20

CSP PLI Scheme for Members

Firstly, we can confirm there are no changes currently to the terms of the policies. That means no special restrictions or conditions are contained within the policies relating to COVID-19. 

The two policies comprising “PLI” are:

  •  Medical Malpractice (covering clinical negligence)
  •  Public Liability (covering non treatment related accidents) 

Both are designed to cover the legal liability of eligible members for claims brought against them arising from their alleged negligence within the scope of physiotherapy practice. 
In situations where members are returning to practice after lockdown they would be expected to introduce and follow all the precautionary measures required and recommended to ensure the safety of themselves, patients and staff. The PLI scheme does not provide Employers Liability insurance so members with employed staff should seek separate guidance on this class of insurance. Because COVID-19 is a novel virus where the body has no natural immunity and for which there is currently no vaccine available, additional care is required to reduce the risk of exposing patients to infection. 

Members may therefore become legally liable if they fail to risk manage treatments and their clinical environment to safeguard patients for example with insufficient PPE, sanitisation, social distancing and other reasonable safety measures. Informed consent should now include reference to COVID-19 and compliance with any legal obligations. The policies do not operate where members practice illegally. Members delivering services through a corporate entity such as a private limited company or partnership should consult their business insurance advisers on how their commercial policies may be affected. 

Last updated 13.05.20

What are Public Health England and CSP saying about PPE?

Last updated 27.05.20

Help for PPE decision making in private practice

We work in a variety of settings and with a variety of patient groups. We need to make our own risk assessments decisions within the guidance but as a minimum, our requirements are Gloves (patient specific) disposable apron ( patient specific) water resistant 11R mask (session specific) and we need to undertake a risk assessment about the wearing of goggles/face guard.

Requirements may be different for those working in neuro/paediatrics/domiciliary or in care homes. Please see below for your guidance.

Access to personal protective equipment (PPE)

It is imperative that members follow up to date government guidance on PPE when seeing patients face to face.Members will find tables 2 and 4 on the page the most helpful. 
Members providing services in domiciliary and care home settings will find the following information useful.

Having access to the appropriate PPE which is suitable for both the clinical environment and clinical intervention must be a deciding factor on whether to proceed with a face to face contact.

The CSP has extensive guidance on PPE
This includes the frequently asked questions (FAQs):
-    What PPE should I use when treating patients?
-    What PPE should I wear when working with post COVID patients in rehabilitation settings?
-    What should I do to effectively wash my uniform?

Further PPE guidance in FAQs for private practitioners
Includes the question:
-    How do I procure PPE and what PPE should I be using if I need to see an urgent or essential patient face to face? 

Last updated 12.05.20

How do we dispose of PPE in Private Practice?

This requires a risk assessment that is specific to each practice and each environment.The following guidance is for our small practices where we will see few patients and only on a one to one basis following triage and where all social distancing measures are adhered to;

We are;
  • Screening twice for Covid symptoms (triage call and again on arrival)
  • Maintaining a 2 meters distance at all times and any closer for fewer than 15 minutes in a clinical session
  • There are no aerosol generating procedures 
  • The wearing of face/eye guards on RA

This is the guidance that applies to us in a video

Therefore we will be advising double bagging, leave for 72 hours and disposal as municipal waste.
In addition, here is the advice from PHE which applies to our members working in a domiciliary capacity, which confirms the same. They confirm that PPE is standard clinical waste, so use the same arrangements as you would normally to dispose of clinical waste in the community setting.

Last updated 27.05.20

Covid-19 business support

Last updated 01.06.20

Are Physio First doing anything to lobby the government about our issues and situation

Please click here to read a joint letter sent to the Chancellor on 8th April 2020. 

 

Last updated 08.04.20

Have Physio First done any lobbying about rate relief for small businesses?

Physio First and the CSP are part of an alliance of professional and trade bodies that has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to extend rate relief to professionals operating through small businesses. To read the letter please click here. 

Last updated 13.05.20

Will my business interruption insurance policy cover me for Covid-19?

Businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. We are also aware of significant concerns from members with regards to their ability to claim and the fact that Govt, through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), are also seeking clarification – see link here

We are working with the CSP and their insurance broker Graybrook Hallam who are seeking specialist legal advice upon policies sold through them, plus we hope to be able to announce the possibility of working with other healthcare provider membership organisations who are addressing this issue.  

In the meantime, steps to take include:

Step 1. Business insurance policies are broken into sections covering different types of events, which means you might have a section for damage to your property and another for injury to customers.
If you are covered at all, then the Business Interruption section of your policy will be the relevant one for coronavirus (note we are focusing on general cover for the business itself; some businesses will have other types of more specialist cover with its own sections and terms, such as Group Personal Accident or Health Insurance for your employees).
You can find this section by looking at your policy schedule to see if the Business Interruption section is included, then follow this into your policy wording to see what it covered and if there are any extensions applicable or restrictions to this cover.
Step 2. Read the policy wording to see if you have cover against coronavirus COVID-19 Typically, business interruption cover can protect against virus outbreaks and diseases like coronavirus.
To find out if you’re covered, you need to:
o Look for a list of specific diseases that are covered. Generally the insurers list of covered diseases will include: Acute Encephalitis, Acute Poliomyelitis, Anthrax, Chickenpox, Cholera, Diphtheria, Dysentery, Legionellosis, Legionnaires Disease, Leprosy, Leptospirosis, Malaria, Measles, Meningococcal Infection, Mumps, Ophthalmia Neonatorum, Paratyphoid Fever, Bubonic Plague, Rabies, Rubella, Scarlet Fever, Smallpox, Tetanus, Tuberculosis, Typhoid Fever, Viral Hepatitis, Whooping Cough or Yellow Fever.
o Look through this section for any applicable cover relating to ‘Notifiable Disease’ (without a specified list) or contagious and/or infectious disease. You may find this under the ‘Extensions’ section of your policy wording.
Coronavirus COVID-19 has been labelled by the government as a ‘Notifiable Disease’, which means if your policy covers these diseases (without a specified list), you may have some cover in specific scenarios.
Step 3. Read the wording to determine how broad your cover is and in what scenarios it applies
Even where coronavirus can be covered (as a Notifiable Disease, for example) your Business Interruption section won’t cover you simply because the virus exists, and certain events will need to happen before your insurance kicks in, such as:
o Your business being closed by the government or a local authority.
o The Notifiable Disease is present at your premises or within a specified distance of your premises (refer to your individual policy wording for the specifics to your policy).

Last updated 12.05.20

I am a small business receiving small business rate relief (SBRR) and/or rural rate relief (RRR) what support is there for my business?

If you are a business in the UK, occupy property and already receive SBRR and/or RRR, the government is providing a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet your ongoing business costs. Originally we were told that local councils would be in touch with eligible businesses themselves but it now seems that many councils are asking those businesses who fit the eligibility criteria to submit their details into an online form on the local authority website. This is particularly the case for businesses who receive 100% small business rate relief or those businesses who do not pay their business rates via direct debit as the council do not have the bank account details to pay the grant into. We encourage all members to visit their local council website and submit an application form at their earliest opportunity. It is understood that local councils are looking to process these payments within 7-10 days. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority. You can find your local authority by visiting www.gov.uk/find-local-council


More information about eligibility for this grant in the government’s guidance to councils can be found here


As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link

Last updated 06.04.20

Are Private Physiotherapy Practices eligible for the business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses?

Although the guidance given to local councils around the eligibility for this relief does not specifically mention Physiotherapy clinics in its examples of “Medical Services” it deems not eligible for this relief (it gives the examples of doctors, dentists, vets, osteopaths and chiropractors only). In another government document “Closing certain businesses and venues” physiotherapy clinics are specifically listed under the heading of “Medical Services”. The eligibility for this relief will ultimately be decided by local councils themselves and how they interpret this guidance. Whether this will be directly related to what your property is registered as with your local council for business rate purposes, we just don’t know at this time and this may vary from local authority to local authority. Currently we anticipate that many of our members physio businesses will not be eligible for this relief.

We are encouraging members who feel they do/should qualify for this relief to get in touch with their local council directly to make their case.

You can find the guidance issued to local councils on this here

The government guidance on closing certain businesses and venues can be found here

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

Last updated 06.04.20

My business premises have a rateable value of over £15,000 and I am not entitled to small business rate relief (SBBR), am I eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses?

Although the guidance given to local councils around the eligibility for this grant does not specifically mention Physiotherapy clinics in its examples of “Medical Services” it deems not eligible for this relief (it gives the examples of doctors, dentists, vets, osteopaths and chiropractors only). In another government document “Closing certain businesses and venues” physiotherapy clinics are specifically listed under the heading of “Medical Services”. The eligibility for this relief will ultimately be decided by local councils themselves and how they interpret this guidance. Whether this will be directly related to what your property is registered as with your local council for business rate purposes, we just don’t know at this time and this may vary from local authority to local authority. Currently we anticipate that many of our members physio businesses will not be eligible for this grant.

We are encouraging members who feel they do/should qualify for this relief to get in touch with their local council directly to make their case. It was initially anticipated that local councils would be in touch with individual businesses who did qualify for the relief, however, it now seems that many are asking all businesses who are eligible to apply by completing an online form on their local authority website. Please check your own local authority website for details of this and fill in the application form.

You can find the guidance issued to local councils on this here

And here

The government guidance on closing certain businesses and venues can be found here

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

Last updated 06.04.20

I am not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) can I access any other grant funding?

The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF) has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses in England previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. An extra £617 million in funding has been made available to councils in England to distribute to small businesses affected by coronavirus.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The government are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding is at the discretion of local authorities.

To be eligible for this scheme your business must qualify as a small business (or micro business). These requirements are as follows:

• Under 50 employees

• Turnover of no more than £10.2 million

• Balance sheet total not more than £5.1 million

You must also show that your business has seen a significant decrease in income due to Coronavirus lockdown measures.

This grant funding has been set-up for businesses that are not eligible for any other support schemes. Therefore, businesses that have received cash from any central government COVID-related scheme are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. These schemes include but not limited to:

• Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

• Small Business Grant Fund

• Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

• The Fisheries Response Fund

• Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS).

• The Zoos Support Fund

• The Dairy Hardship Fund

Businesses are still eligible for this scheme if they have claimed grant funding under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

There are three levels of grant payments. The maximum is £25,000. There are also grants of £10,000, and local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000.

We encourage all Physio First members who have been told so far by their local authority that they are not eligible for grant funding to get back in touch with them to apply for this additional funding. Details about the application process should be visible on your local authority website.

The full guidance to local authorities regarding this grant scheme can be found here

Last updated 20.05.20

Is there any extra help for Scottish Businesses from the Scottish Parliament in addition to the UK-wide measures?

The Scottish Government announced on 14th April 2020 an additional £220 million of grants for businesses – including the recently self employed – to help them deal with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The new package of measures includes £120 million to extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers will be eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.

A further £100 million fund is also being made available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID. This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes. We encourage all our Scottish members who are ineligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant or Small Business grant to apply for this new fund.
Applications for the £100 million fund will be open by the end of the month, and the new arrangements for the Small Business Grant will be in place to receive applications on 5 May.

For more details click here.

Last updated 16.04.20

What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, who is eligible for it and how do I access it?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is accessible to all UK employers with a PAYE scheme. The scheme enables businesses access to support to continue paying part of their employees’ PAYE salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. It applies to employees (on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020) who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the payroll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages up to £2,500 per month (please note that this is a gross figure i.e. 80% of a £37,500 gross salary, anyone earning a salary above this figure will have their reimbursement from HMRC capped at £2500 per month) plus Employer National Insurance contributions that are made on the subsidised furlough pay. For employees, whose pay varies employers can claim for the higher of either: the same month’s earnings from the previous year or the average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year. For employees employed for less than a year, employers can claim for an average of their monthly earning since they started work.

This scheme is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The furloughed worker’s employer may choose to pay the difference between this amount and the employee’s full salary but does not have to. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and has now been extended until the end of October. From the beginning of August the terms and conditions of the scheme will change and employers will be expected to contribute something towards the 80% amount with employees being allowed to return to doing some part-time work for their employer whilst still “on furlough”.

To access the scheme employers will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify your employees of this change. A sample template letter for employers to send to ‘furloughed workers’ can be found by clicking here.
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal launched on 20 April 2020. (For more information please see our FAQ “How Do I make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme?”)
  • Furlough any employees placed on the scheme for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks

The scheme includes both full and part-time workers on PAYE including those on zero hours contracts and in a physiotherapy clinic context includes both clinical and non-clinical staff. Office holders including Company Directors and salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) can also be furloughed on the same basis if they are paid via PAYE. Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.

Furloughed employees, including company directors, are permitted to work for another employer whilst on furlough if their employment contract allows. This applies to both another existing employer or another new employer.

More detailed guidance regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found by clicking here

HMRC’s online claim service was launched on GOV.UK on 20 April 2020. Payments are made to your company bank account 6 working days after a claim is submitted.

You can calculate the amount you can claim for each of your furloughed employees here

You can check the details you will need and make a claim here

From 1st July the scheme is changing, and furloughed workers will be able to carry out some work for their employer whilst still “on furlough”. In return the employer will be required to make a contribution to the employee’s furlough pay. More details can be found in our FAQ “What are the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from July 1st?”

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

Last updated 01.06.20

How do I make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

To claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you must have:

• created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020

• enrolled for PAYE online

• a UK bank account

• confirmed in writing to your furloughed employees that they have been furloughed

The information issued by HMRC on how to make a claim under this scheme is as follows:

• the online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20 April 2020 – please do not try to access it before this date as it will not be available

• the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim

• you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent

• claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or our webchat service

• we cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.

Information you will need before you make a claim:

• a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'

• be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers'

• the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:

1. Name.

2. National Insurance number.

3. Claim period and claim amount.

4. PAYE/employee number (optional).

• if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee

• if you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; we will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

If you want an agent to act for you

Please note:

• agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password

• you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.

HMRC’s online claim service was launched on GOV.UK on 20 April 2020. Payments are made to your company bank account 6 working days after a claim is submitted.

You can calculate the amount you can claim for each of your furloughed employees here

You can check the details you will need and make a claim here

Last updated 27.04.20

What is a furloughed worker?

A furloughed worker is an employee who has been asked to stop working by a company but is being kept on the payroll to safeguard them from redundancy. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages up to £2,500. The furloughed worker’s employer may choose to pay the difference between this amount and the employee’s full salary but does not have to. Up until the end of July a furloughed worker cannot work (defined as generating money or providing services) for their employer once they have been furloughed. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes undertaking remote physio consultations.

A worker can be put on furlough by one employer and continue to work for another (either an existing or new employer) if it is permitted within their employment contract. If a worker is put on furlough by more than one employer, they will receive separate payments from each employer. The 80% of their normal wage up to a £2,500 monthly cap applies to each job.

The minimum length of furloughing to qualify for the scheme is 3 weeks.

The scheme includes both full and part-time workers on PAYE including those on zero hours contracts and in a physiotherapy clinic context includes both clinical and non-clinical staff. Office holders including Company Directors and salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) can also be furloughed on the same basis if they are paid via PAYE. Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.

From 1st July the scheme is changing, and furloughed workers will be able to carry out some work for their employer whilst still “on furlough”. In return the employer will be required to make a contribution to the employee’s furlough pay. More details can be found in our FAQ “What are the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from July 1st?”

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

Last updated 1.06.20

I have been designated as a ‘furloughed worker’, what does this mean and what do I need to do?

This means that you have been asked by your employer to stop working for the company, but you are being kept on the company payroll to safeguard you from redundancy. Up until the end of July, whilst on furlough, you should not undertake work (defined as generating income or providing services) for your employer, although you are able to undertake volunteer work and continue work for another employer (this can be an existing or new employer). This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary but does not have to. More detailed guidance for employees about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found by clicking here

From 1st July the scheme is changing, and you will be able to carry out some work for your employer whilst “on furlough”. More details can be found in our FAQ “What are the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from July 1st?”

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

Last updated 01.06.20

What are the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from July 1st?

From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time. This is a month earlier than previously announced to help support people back to work. Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them - and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.

From August 2020, the level of government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. That means that for June and July the government will continue to pay 80% of people’s salaries. In the following months, businesses will be asked to contribute a modest share, but crucially individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.

The scheme updates mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:

June and July: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.

August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

Last updated 01.06.20

I’m self-employed, is there any help from the government to support my income?

The government has announced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) where the government will pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by Covid-19 a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profit over the last three years up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. This scheme is be open to people across the UK for at least 3 months and will be extended if necessary. You will be able to claim these grants and continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. HMRC will as usual use a risk based approach to compliance.

Your trading profits must also be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income for either:

  • the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • the average of the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019

If you missed the filing deadline in January the deadline for submitting your 2019 tax return was extended to 23 April 2020 to enable more people to be eligible for the scheme.

HMRC will use data on the 2018 to 2019 tax returns already submitted to identify those eligible. You are now able to check your eligibility through the government website by clicking here

Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.

Self-employed people are also able to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back loan scheme which provide loans for up to 6 years with the first 12 months being interest and re-payment free. For more details about this please see our FAQs on the CBILS and Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The SEISS has now been extended for a further 3 months with applications for the second grant opening in August. Individuals can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until 13 July. Under the first grant, eligible individuals can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. Those eligible have the money paid into their bank account within six working days of completing a claim.

Applications for the second grant will open in August. Individuals will be able to claim a second taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant: for example, they may only have been adversely affected by COVID-19 in this later phase. Further guidance on the second grant will be published on Friday 12 June.

More details can be found on the SEISS here

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

Last updated 01.06.20

I am a company director and receive my income through PAYE and dividends, am I classed as self-employed or employed in relation to the schemes that the government has put in place to support workers?

It has been confirmed by the government that if you are the director of your own company and pay yourself through PAYE and dividends you can be furloughed, however, you are only able to claim 80% of PAYE income through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for employed workers. Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.

You are unable to claim anything for dividend payments through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

 

Last updated 06.04.20

Is there any other help for businesses and individuals who are struggling to afford to pay tax at this time?

There are a few ways in which the government are helping individuals and businesses who are struggling to pay tax at this time. They are as follows:

  • Deferring Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Business’ will not need to make VAT payments during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. 
  • Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system may be deferred until 31 January 2021. The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your 2nd payment on account on 31 July 2020 you should do so.
  • Time to Pay extended. HMRC have scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of COVID-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities such as Income Tax or Corporation Tax. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstance and liabilities. If you have missed a payment or fear you might miss your next payment due you can call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559
  • 3-month filing extension for businesses. Businesses are being given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Companies will have to apply for the 3-month extension for it to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted and extension. Applications can be made at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/extensions

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

 Last updated 06.04.20

What is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and how do I access it?

Please note: members looking to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 are advised to apply for the Bounce Back loan that the government is providing lenders with a 100% guarantee on. For more details on this loan please see our FAQ - What is the Bounce Back loan and how can I apply?

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to small and medium-sized businesses.

The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • Your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business has a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, if not for the coronavirus pandemic
  • you can self-certify that your business has been adversely impacted by coronavirus

The scheme is now open for applications.

The full rules of the scheme and guidance on how to apply is available on the British Business Bank website.

All major banks are offering this scheme so to apply please speak to your bank as soon as possible to discuss your business plan.

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

Last updated 28.04.20

What is the Bounce Back loan and how can I apply?

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). However, if you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders and will be launched on 4th May 2020. More information about the scheme will be published shortly here.

Last updated 28.04.20

I am going to struggle to pay my commercial rent due to COVID-19, what can I do?

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 are being protected from eviction. Measures put in place by the government mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June 2020. There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed.

This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent.

It may well be worth contacting your landlord in the first instance to see if you can come to some arrangement regarding reduced/discounted rent during this period.

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

 

Last updated 06.04.20

I have been designated as a furloughed worker, can I re-deploy to the NHS

It depends. If your contract allows, you may undertake other employment while your current employer has placed you on furlough, and this will not affect the grant that they can claim under the scheme. You will need to be able to return to work for the employer that has placed you on furlough if they decide to stop furloughing you, and you must be able to undertake any training they require while on furlough. If you take on new employment, you should make sure you complete the starter checklist form with your new employer correctly. If you are furloughed from another employment, you should complete Statement C. Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Your employer can still make you redundant while you’re on furlough or afterwards.

Full details can be found on the government website by clicking here

As Physio First we are trying to make finding the information as easy as possible. Whilst we will update each FAQ as quickly as we can, please check against Govt rules before taking any action – see link here

 

Last updated 06.04.20

How have the insolvency rules changed and how may this help protect my business?

The government has announced a temporary suspension of the “wrongful trading laws” which form part of the Insolvency Act 1986. The wrongful trading laws can cause directors to be personally liable for their company’s creditor debts if they have knowingly made transactions in and out of the business with the knowledge that the company is insolvent. The temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions for company directors is to remove the threat of personal liability during the pandemic, this will apply retrospectively from March 1.

The government has made clear though that “all of the other checks and balances that help ensure directors fulfil their duties properly will remain in force.

 

Last Updated 06.04.20

How do I claim under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)?

The Business Secretary announced at 5pm on 1st April 2020 that the funding for these grants, a total of  £12billion, had been released to local councils for distribution to eligible local businesses. Initially the government had reported that local councils would be in touch with eligible local businesses themselves. However, this no longer appears to be the case and many councils are asking local businesses to apply for the grant by completing an online form on their local authority website.

The main reason for this is because the local councils do not have the bank account details of many local businesses to be able to pay the grant into. This is particularly true of businesses who receive 100% small business rate relief and those businesses who do not pay their business rates via direct debit.

Therefore, we are encouraging all members with eligible businesses to check their local authority website and fill in an online application form.

The SBGF is available to all UK businesses who occupy property and are in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR).

Some members may be eligible for the RHLGF at the discretion of their local council. More details about this can be found in our Business Support FAQ “My business premises have a rateable value of over £15,000 and I am not entitled to small business rate relief (SBBR), am I eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses?”

Last updated 02.04.20

Can workers be ‘furloughed’ under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are off sick?

The guidance from the government states that “employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) but can be furloughed after this”. This suggests that you cannot put an employee on furlough until they have come off sick leave. The guidance does not explicitly deal with employees who become sick whilst on furlough, however it does say that employees will retain their entitlement to SSP. Since this is likely to be lower than furlough pay, there is likely no incentive for them to declare themselves sick to their employer. Should a more generous company sick pay policy be in place, it may be that this is agreed to be suspended during the period of workers being furloughed.

The published government guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for employers can be found by clicking here

 

Last updated 06.04.20

Can furloughed workers continue to accrue holiday allowance and continuous service while they are furloughed?

Yes, as they remain employed. You could agree with employees that no contractual holiday – beyond the statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks per year – will accrue during furlough. However, employees will retain their right to accrue annual leave under the working time regulations.

Last updated 06.04.20

Resources to help you connect with your patients in virtual consultations

Guidance for virtual consultations

We have collated advice and resources to help you connect with your patients in virtual consultation. Please click here for a copy of our e-booklet.

Last updated 23.04.20

​Returning to the NHS

Last updated 08.04.20

Is returning to the NHS all about face to face work?

What if you are in a vulnerable group yourself

The NHS FAQ states:

“This isn’t only about clinically treating patients – there is also a need to provide a calm and stoic presence whose ripple effect is felt way beyond any health or social care setting. Many members of the general public are anxious and need reassurance. Your expertise can help in so many ways, so even if you fall into a group which is considered to be at increased risk, you can still offer valuable support through a variety of roles in secondary, community and primary care.’’

Data for Impact (DfI) Implications

Last updated 22.04.20

Our May 2020 Download date has been postponed

Due to Covid-19 and the subsequent reduction in new patient footfall through the clinics during lockdown we (the Physio First Executive Team and the DfI project steering group) have decided to postpone the forthcoming DfI data download, originally scheduled for 1st May, until 1st September 2020.  This will provide practitioners with an extra four months, extended data collection period from 12 to 16 months, to continue to input any new patient data. At the September download, all data input on the system between 1st May 2019 and 1st Sept 2020 will contribute towards the analysis for the individualised reports and the QAP & QAC assessments.

Recent changes in April 2020 to the DfI system for remote consultations

Clients receiving consultations remotely can be recorded on the DfI system following recent updates to the system, both on the treatment page and also on the influencing factors page. You may have already received this information from UOB Team by email

Alternate mode of gaining patient consent for remote consultations

With remote consultations it may not be feasible to obtain a signed DfI patient consent form, therefore during lockdown patients can provide their consent via email or text message. You just need to send the DfI Patient Information Sheet electronically to patients prior to remote consultations, and ask your patients to respond to you via email or text message stating they have read the Information Sheet and that they consent for their data to be used as part of the national audit (Physio First Data for Impact project).  You should retain the consent email/text from each patient for your audit trail.

When will the next Individualised Reports, QAP & QAC assessments be prepared?

The individualised reports will be prepared at the September 2020 download.  All full and affiliate members who input at least 50 discharged datasets within the 16 month period (1st May 2019 and 1st Sept 2020) will receive an individualised report with their DfI data. Unfortunately, individualised reports are not available for those who are part time subscribers with Physio First.

I was due to be remeasured for my QAP/QAC award in May 2020. What happens to that award?

For practitioners and clinics who currently hold QAP or QAC awards which are due to expire in May 2020, please be advised that these awards will be automatically extended for a four-month period (until Sept 2020).  For the next QAP/QAC assessments in September 2020 these will include all data input on the system between 1st May 2019 and 1st Sept 2020 (giving practitioners an extra 4 months to acquire the required number of datasets).