Society Of Shoe Fitters – Mrs. Rosemary Gray and Mr. Bernard O’Brien



In recognition of their long and fruitful service to our charitable organisation, we have awarded Mrs. Rosemary Gray and Mr. Bernard O’Brien with a Fellowship to the Society of Shoe Fitters.  The presentation took place at the Data team Footwear Awards during MODA.  They received a framed certificate and inscribed valet box from Dasco Dunkelman.

Both were overwhelmed and delighted to receive this recognition as Fellowships are given very rarely in the 60 year history of the organisation.

Very few Fellowships of the Society of Shoe Fitters have been bestowed on members. They are presented to those who have been a part of the charity organisation over many years and have worked beyond the call of duty to support the aims and objectives of the charity and promote professional shoe fitting.

Past President Bernard O’Brien F.S.S.F. of Luke O’Brien Shoes to-be-Shoer of Tuam, Co. Galway and current President and Tutor Rosemary Gray of North Shoes in Bourne, Lincolnshire were two recipients at the Datateam Footwear Awards Dinner during the MODA shoe fair.

Rosemary tells us: “It is always fun to attend the Awards Dinner and as President of the Society of Shoe Fitters I was pleased to present an award to our Student of the Year (George Paish, Bill Bird Shoes) and a well-deserved Fellowship to Bernard O’Brien for his work for the Society and within the shoe trade. However, the tables were turned on me and I was both surprised and honoured in equal measure to accept this prestigious award of a Fellowship myself. Apparently, my face was a picture and I was so surprised I confess to tears, setting off several others in the room. I have been a part of the Society for more years than I care to remember and a Tutor for around 20 years. We all work hard as a team, so I feel it gives the whole society recognition. I am due to semi-retire from my place of work mid-year but can assure everyone I will keep going with the Society to help promote shoe fitting and the importance of its training within the industry”.
Secretary Laura West says ‘This sums up Rosemary, modest and giving. It was a great pleasure to be with Rosemary and see her shock and delight on the night. Her input and support are invaluable, so we are greatly relieved she will not be retiring from her work with us. Bernard was our first President from Ireland and has made the time and effort to attend hundreds of meetings over the years and always responds to a call for help. They are both dedicated professionals and it is an honour to work with them and present their Certificate of Fellowship and an inscribed valet box from Dasco Dunkelman’.

See our Coronavirus toolbox of links for a list of websites offering advice

1st September 2023

Currently, even if you have symptoms, you don’t have to test for COVID. However, if you have tested positive for COVID (or your child/member of your household), you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day you took your test (under 18), or 5 days if you are over 18. If you are in contact with people with weakened immune systems, or who might become seriously ill from viruses, the advice is to avoid meeting those people for 10 days after you took the test. As podiatrists, we work with many vulnerable patients.

Updated links from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland as below:,-There%20are%20things&text=If%20you%20have%20a%20positive,the%20test%20as%20day%201.

July 2022 – Updated information on the use of Face Masks

In June recommendations for the use of face masks in healthcare settings for England and Wales were relaxed, however we have become aware of a number of NHS Trusts recommending the re-introduction of face masks. We encourage all members to carry out their own risk assessment and update their policies accordingly. Should official recommendations change we will, of course update you.

Northern Ireland and Scotland are still recommending the use of face masks please see here for Scotland National Infection Prevention and Control Manual: Winter (21/22), Respiratory Infections in Health and Care Settings Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Addendum (
and here for Northern Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19): face coverings guidance | nidirect


“How to Reduce & Dispose of Our PPE Waste More Responsibly” –


A reminder that masks continue to be required in healthcare settings in England

In England, the requirement for mask wearing in most public areas ends today.

However, the UK Health Security Agency has not changed its advice, and therefore it continues to be a requirement within healthcare settings for both staff and patients to continue to wear face coverings.

See para 5.1: Infection prevention and control for seasonal respiratory infections in health and care settings for winter 2001 to 2002

Therefore, you may wish to put reminders up to inform your patients they still need to wear their face coverings when in clinic.



Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

This guidance will come into effect when England moves to step 4 of the roadmap. Read the current step 3 guidance on what you can and cannot do. While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. This is why we are keeping in place key protections, see here

Guidance for Wales is here

Guidance for Scotland is here

Guidance for The Republic of Ireland is here


Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme here

If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

Work out your turnover so you can claim the fifth SEISS grant

Find out the turnover figures you’ll need before you claim, where to find them and how they affect your grant amount here.


UK COVID-19 Update: Updated PPE Guidance, Vaccination ‘Huge Milestone’ 

Updated PPE Guidance
Public Health England has issued updated guidance recommending wider use of PPE for staff where a risk cannot otherwise be managed.

BMA Council Chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said the guidance was “a step in the right direction” and it “asserts the legal obligations of carrying out proper risk assessments and implementing specific measures to manage risks. Crucially, it recommends that respiratory PPE (such as FFP3 masks) must be considered where the threat from passing on COVID remains high, and should not be limited to those areas where ‘aerosol-generating procedures’ (AGP) are taking place. This means extending their use to those staff whose exposure to airborne particles from a patient is no less, and whose risk of contracting COVID is therefore no less than for those engaged in those procedures classified as AGPs.

“Despite the majority of staff now having been vaccinated with two doses, it is important that those working on the front line should be given stronger guarantees with appropriate PPE (rather than just surgical masks), given that no vaccine provides complete protection. With the new variant being highly transmissible and more resistant to vaccines, we cannot give the virus any opportunity to spread if we have the means to prevent it.

“Ultimately, if doctors become infected, not only is there a risk that they pass on the virus to patients, but if they become very ill they are unable to provide care and patients do not get the treatment they need.

“Therefore, employers must now look at this guidance and implement it locally, protecting staff, and in doing so, protecting patients and minimising the wider impact on health services.”

see here for the Guidance


(COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do
Coronavirus restrictions remain in place. Find out what you can and cannot do.


PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 20 April 2021
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement at the coronavirus press conference. See here


Claim a grant if you’ve lost income

If you’re getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you might be able to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. See here


New campaign urges public to get tested twice a week

From Friday 9 April, everyone in England will be eligible for free rapid COVID-19 tests, twice a week. See here


Twice weekly rapid testing to be available to everyone in England

Everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing from 9 April, the Government has announced. See here for further information.


How the rules will change on 12 April

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will change on 12 April. You can read the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ (the roadmap out of lockdown) for more information on how COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in England.

You can also read the law that underpins these changes and the ongoing restrictions.


Coronavirus restrictions remain in place. Find out what you can and cannot do here


COVID-19 vaccination: consent form and letter for adults

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent form and letter templates for adults who are able to consent.


PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 8 March 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement at the coronavirus press conference.


Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 1 March 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.


Prime Minister sets out roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions

PM Boris Johnson has announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.


Book a Coronavirus Vaccine here


Covid-19 Infection, Prevention and Control Guidance January 2021


Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 1 February 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.


Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 27 January 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.


Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable in new Tier 4 areas

Regulatory approval of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

Information for healthcare professionals and the public about the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.


Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the country. Find out what you can and cannot do.

National lockdown: Stay at Home

What you can and cannot do during the national lockdown


Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable in new Tier 4 areas

Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable in new Tier 4 areas

This group is advised to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.


COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): information about the new virus variant 20.12.20

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): information about the new virus variant

The new strain transmits more easily than the previous variant but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality.


Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 December 2020

Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 December 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.


Details of Pfizer/BioNTesh SARS- Cov-2 vaccine data finally available

Details of Pfizer/BioNTesh SARS- CoV-2 vaccine data finally available

After announcing their approval of the first vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 earlier this week, the UK government has now released the ‘REG 174 INFORMATION FOR UK HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS‘ document for COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2


Register for an antibody test kit to check if you’ve had coronavirus before

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace

An antibody test is a blood test to check if you’ve had coronavirus (COVID-19) before. You can register for an invite to get a test kit.


NHS Test and Trace in the workplace 02.12.20

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace

Guidance on what to do if you or someone you employ is contacted by NHS Test and Trace, including self-isolation and financial support.


COVID-19 Poster generator

COVID-19 Poster generator

If your business, organisation or event operates across multiple branches or you have multiple businesses, you will need to create a poster for each unique location.


COVID-19 Poster generator

COVID-19 Poster generator

If your business, organisation or event operates across multiple branches or you have multiple businesses, you will need to create a poster for each unique location.


Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme 29 November 2020

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be eligible to claim the grant.


Full list of local restriction tiers by area 26 November 2020

Full list of local restriction tiers by area

This page sets out the full list of local restriction tiers by area from Wednesday 2 December 2020.


Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) 26 November 2020

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure.


COVID-19 Winter Plan 23 November 2020

COVID-19 Winter Plan

The government’s plan for managing COVID-19 through the winter.


Prime Minister publishes COVID Winter Plan 23 November 2020

Prime Minister publishes COVID Winter Plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today published the government’s COVID Winter Plan.


Local restriction tiers: what you need to know 23 November 2020

Local restriction tiers: what you need to know

Sets out the local restriction tier system that will be in place from Wednesday 2 December, including what you can and cannot do in each tier.


Tier posters: Medium, High and Very High 23 November 2020

Tier posters: Medium, High and Very High

A series of posters displaying information about the various tiers of restrictions in England from 2 December 2020.


Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Many of us are struggling to maintain our mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This page has tips to help yourself cope, including ways to support yourself during winter.


Health and Social care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19) 16 November 2020

Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.


New National Restrictions from 20 November 2020

New National restrictions.

Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.


Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out what financial support you can get for your business.

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses.

This page help businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on coronavirus to the House of Commons.

Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 12 October 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement at the coronavirus press conference.

Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know
Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are.

Press release
Liverpool City Region to move into ‘very high’ local COVID Alert Level following rise in coronavirus infections

Following discussions over the weekend, the government and local leaders have agreed the need for further action to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the Liverpool City Region.

From Wednesday, Liverpool City Region will be placed onto the ‘Very High’ Local Covid Alert Level. The Liverpool City Region includes the local authority districts of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, as well as the City of Liverpool.

Under the country’s new three tiered Local Covid Alert Level system, the Very High alert level applies in the areas of greatest concern.

Full list of local COVID alert levels by area
The areas in England listed as local COVID alert level high and local COVID alert level very high.


Protect your loved ones. Download the app.

The new NHS COVID-19 app, now available to download for free in England and Wales, is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user’s privacy.


Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can get.


About the track and trace app

How the app will help you
The app is designed to make fast, accurate, digital contact tracing possible while protecting your privacy and identity. It uses the minimum amount possible of your personal data.

Contact tracing depends on being able to determine who a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 could have infected. Manual contact tracing involves asking an infected person to remember who they have been in contact with; the person can only identify the people they know. The app supports contact tracing through your phone, without needing to know anyone’s names or identities.

The app includes a notification feature which will alert you if you’ve been near another app user who tests positive for coronavirus, if your local area (postcode district) has a changed risk status, or if you have visited a venue, which later reports an outbreak whilst you were there. If you test positive, the app will ask you to allow those you’ve been in contact with to be alerted. It uses technology developed by Apple and Google called ‘exposure notification’ and ‘exposure logging’ to do this. The people notified will not know who you are. See more here


PM Commons statement on coronavirus: 22 September 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on coronavirus to the House of Commons.

News story
Coronavirus (COVID-19): What has changed – 22 September

The government has today announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England.

Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 22 September 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.


The Government’s NHS COVID app for track and trace is due to launch on the 24th September, this link provides more information on the QR scanning system and posters available to you

QR Track and Trace


PM press conference statement: 9 September 2020


COVID-19: reducing transmission – what you can do to help – updated 07 September 2020

Advice on how you can help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Change made
Added link to a simple visual guide.


Millions of self employed to benefit from second stage of support scheme

Millions of self-employed people whose livelihoods have been affected by coronavirus will be able to claim a second payment of up to £6,570 from today – as the government continues to help drive the UK’s recovery.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – claiming the second grant
Register for the next live webinar about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – claiming the second grant.

This webinar will tell you:

how to claim the second grant in the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
who is eligible
the amount you can claim
what other support is available


Guidance for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers. This guidance is also designed for those who provide mobile close contact services from their homes and in other people’s homes, those in retail environments and the arts, as well as those studying hair and beauty in vocational training environments. See here for information.


COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings


New rules on gatherings in some parts of Northern England
Government announces changes to rules on gatherings in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire after increase in COVID-19 cases

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has this evening announced that new rules on social gatherings will be introduced in Northern England to stop the spread of COVID-19. These changes will also apply in Leicester city.

This is in response to an increasing trend in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and data from PHE and the JBC which suggests transmission among households is a key infection pathway in the area.

The areas that these changes apply to are:

The Greater Manchester area
Blackburn with Darwen
Leicester City

find out more here

North West of England: local restrictions – what you can and cannot do
Find out what restrictions are in place if you live, work or travel in the North-West area and other affected areas

An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus. From 31 July 2020, if you live in these parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, you should follow these rules when meeting people who you do not live with. Separate guidance advises on the similar rules imposed in Leicester.

Affected local areas
Greater Manchester:
City of Manchester
Blackburn with Darwen
West Yorkshire:

find out more here

Leicester lockdown: what you can and cannot do
Find out what restrictions are in place if you live, work or travel in the Leicester area during the local outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) here



COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) – Updated 23 July 2020

This revised guidance concerns use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health and social care workers, in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It supersedes previous PPE guidance. This guidance relates solely to considerations of PPE, represents one section of infection prevention and control guidance for COVID-19 and should be used in conjunction with local policies.

See here for further information


Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.


This resource provides guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for care workers visiting people’s homes to deliver care (domiciliary care) during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK. It explains how PPE guidance applies to the homecare (domiciliary care) setting and is drawn from full infection prevention and control (IPC) and PPE guidance found here.

When to use local resilience forums
If you cannot get the PPE you need through wholesaler routes or the PPE portal, contact your local resilience forums (LRFs).

Providers who are not invited to use the portal should continue using their LRFs if they cannot get the PPE they need through wholesaler routes.

Local resilience forums (LRFs) are multi-agency partnerships made up of representatives from local public services, including the emergency services, local authorities, the NHS, the Environment Agency and others. These agencies are known as Category 1 Responders, as defined by the Civil Contingencies Act.

LRFs are supported by organisations, known as Category 2 responders, such as the Highways Agency and public utility companies. They have a responsibility to co-operate with Category 1 organisations and to share relevant information with the LRF. The geographical area the forums cover is based on police areas.

LRFs also work with other partners in the military and voluntary sectors who provide a valuable contribution to LRF work in emergency preparedness.

The LRFs aim to plan and prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies. They work to identify potential risks and produce emergency plans to either prevent or mitigate the impact of any incident on their local communities.


Everyone in the United Kingdom with symptoms now eligible for coronavirus tests 

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; and now also a loss of or change in your normal sense of smell or taste can book a test by visiting
21,000 contact tracers in England now recruited

Those unable to access the internet can call 119 in England and Wales or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland to book a test.


The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Position Statement

Since the lockdown began, Chiropody and Podiatry services have been exempt from premises closure and it may be reasonable to assume that exemption holds for domiciliary treatments as well. We have attempted to help members with our suggested ‘traffic light’ system of stop, proceed with caution and go, whilst advising that all specific laws concerning COVID-19 should be rigidly adhered to. We have also advised members of the College of Foot Health to adhere to these standards as well. The Prime Minister’s announcement, asking people where possible to return to work, does not appear to materially change the caution that we advise members to exercise, as they will naturally be treating patients within a closer proximity than social distancing stipulates. We still regard it as essential that you have the PPE documented by regarding: ‘COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England‘ and also ‘Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for non-aerosol generating procedures (APGs)‘ as well as ‘COVID-19: personal protective equipment use for aerosol generating procedures‘  Please note that we are unable to confirm that any form of drilling, be that unfiltered, vacuum or spray is NOT an ‘aerosol generating procedure’ due to variations in drills, their technology and patients personal hygiene and other  situation-specific variable factors. Note the dictionary definition: “An aerosol (abbreviation of “aero-solution”) is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in air or another gas. Aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic. Examples of natural aerosols are fog, mist, dust, forest exudates and geyser steam”

In short, please follow the newly revised official dictum of “Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives”


PM address to the nation on coronavirus: 10 May 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.

Businesses and venues that must remain closed to members of the public – Gov.UK updated 13th May 2020

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The government has given clear guidance on self-isolationstaying at home and away from others, and asked that schools only remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend.

All businesses and venues outlined in the table below must not open to the public. Failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individuals responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance below. Online retail may continue.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines.

see more here


Join the Virtual Frontline as a Clinical Contact Caseworker
Use your clinical skills and expertise in order to help support the NHS – and all from your own home. See more information here


HMRC will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Further information can be found here


IOCP Chief Executive’s Newsletter – 28th April 2020



COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care

When providing personal care which requires you to be in direct contact with the client(s) (e.g. touching) OR you are within 2 metres of anyone in the
household who is coughing

These recommendations apply:

• whether the client you are caring for has symptoms or not, and includes all clients, including those in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ group.
• whenever you are within 2 metres of someone (client or household member) who is coughing, even if you are not providing direct care to them.
• to all direct care, for example: assisting with getting in/out of bed, feeding, dressing, bathing, grooming, toileting, dressings etc. and or when unintended contact with clients is likely (e.g. when
caring for clients with challenging behaviour).

These principles are also suitable for extra-care housing schemes and live-in homecare. These recommendations assume that care workers are not undertaking aerosol generating procedures (AGPs).
Note: PPE is only effective when combined with: hand hygiene (cleaning your hands regularly and appropriately); respiratory hygiene .. see more here

NHS Health at Home
The COVID-19 outbreak means the public need to stay at home as much as possible. If they need an NHS service, they should try to do it online from home first – unless there’s a serious or life-threatening emergency or they have been advised to attend an existing appointment for ongoing treatment.

The NHS Health at Home campaign signposts the public to the information they need to contact their GP, order repeat prescriptions, manage their wellbeing and existing conditions – without leaving their home.

Resources including newsletter and website copy, social media posts and GIFs are on the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre and can be downloaded here.


Click poster to enlarge


We advise you to view this leaflet!


First aid certificate extensions

If you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access requalification training because of coronavirus you may qualify for a 3-month extension. This applies to:

  • Offshore Medic (OM)
  • Offshore First Aid (OFA)
  • First Aid at Work (FAW)
  • Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)

To qualify for the extension, you must be able to explain why you haven’t been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps you have taken to access the training, if asked to do so.

Taken from The Health and Safety Executive here


IOCP Chief Executive’s Newsletter – 30th March 2020


Coronavirus: UK government unveils aid for self-employed

Self-employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus, the chancellor has announced.

The money – up to a maximum of £2,500 a month – will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.

Rishi Sunak told the self-employed: “You have not been forgotten.”

Wage subsidies of 80% for salaried employees were announced last week.


Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

Businesses will be 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.

See more information here


The UK Government has today launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp

The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

This will help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

The GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow the British public to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government.

The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting.

The service will also allow the government to send messages to all opted-in users if required.

To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.

Prof Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director, Public Health England, said:

This service will help us ensure the public has a trusted source for the right information about coronavirus, updated with the latest public health guidance and providing assurance that they are not misled by any of the false information circulating.

Matt Idema, Chief Operating Officer, WhatsApp, said:

At difficult times like these, people are using WhatsApp more than ever to connect with and support their friends, family and communities. We are pleased to be able to provide the UK Government with the communications tools to help them answer the public’s questions about the virus with reliable, timely health advice, in order to keep people safe.


IOCP Chief Executive Newsletter (supplement) Tuesday, 24th March 2020


IOCP Chief Executive’s Newsletter – 20th March 2020

Taken from the HCPC website

Registrants will understandably be concerned about how they can keep up to date with CPD or have time to submit profiles if chosen for audit at this time.

Individuals should comply with their CPD obligations, where time allows and if it is possible to do so.

In the current circumstances our Council has taken the decision to cancel the audit process for Physiotherapists as well as stop the audit process for other professions until further notice.

We will update this page with further details about what this means shortly.


HCPC policy position – COVID-19 response

Resuscitation Council UK Statement on COVID-19 in relation to CPR and resuscitation in healthcare settings


Note from the Insurers AJG

The situation is ever changing for us all and insurance advice changes with that. It’s daily at the moment. In terms of advice or guidance from our perspective at this time, then it is very much the same as the advice provided by the Institute in terms of asking people to follow official, governmental guidance in terms of next steps. Members should however take the appropriate precautions of self-isolation in line with showing any of the recognised symptoms. It is very unlikely that any claim for negligence would either be made, or be deemed valid, in respect of the spread of the virus. However, if any member wants to discuss any particular matter regarding Coronavirus then please get in touch with us directly by email or phone. As we enter unprecedented times in the health sector and the public in general following the impact of Coronavirus, Gallagher is planning ahead with little or no interruption expected to its service to members in respect of insurance. With this in mind and the likelihood that many of our workers may be home based in the very near future, any requests for further information or any quotations should be directed to the following email addresses and we will arrange a call back and quotation as soon as possible Please contact either or

Handwashing and Respiratory Hygiene

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • washing your hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible; 3.Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information;
  3. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  4. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  5. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.


IOCP Chief Executives Newsletter – 16th March 2020


A statement from The Institute of Chiropodists of Podiatrists about the Coronavirus

Dear Colleagues,

The current situation with COVID-19 is presenting a challenge to all Healthcare Professionals, but in particular to ourselves given that many colleagues routinely deal with client groups with large numbers of individuals who fall firmly within the profiles of people defined as having a high risk should they contract COVID-19. The elderly, diabetics, people with concurrent debilitating health issues etc.

The media and internet in particular, are literally awash with items and ‘advice’ from a bewildering array of sources, some good and some perhaps less so. Our position as a responsible professional body is firmly that of ‘following the science’ which description has been coined by the UK chief medical officers, and which as healthcare professionals ourselves we absolutely believe is the correct way forward.

We are appending a list of sources that we believe to present the best advice from responsible professional organisations and which should aid you in making your own informed clinical judgements in individual patient contact situations.

As all of my fellow directors are active clinicians, as am I myself, we firmly understand your concerns and we will do our utmost to ensure that you receive the very best advice we are able to source. Our head office staff will be working ceaselessly to ensure that we continue to be able to do so, but I must beg you to ensure that communications with head office via phone and email are confined to matters of necessity, as this has dramatically increased their workload, as it has indeed of the board, in keeping on top of the situation.

Further communications will be issued on an as need basis and may I assure all of you of the sincere best wishes of the board, myself and our head office staff in this trying situation.

Warmest Regards, Martin Harvey FPodM PGC BSc, Chair of Executive.

What does the NHS have to say?

It’s worth the read as it will keep you up to date with the NHS and their latest information on the Coronavirus as this may affect practical work due to circumstances below.

Briefing note on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the independent healthcare sector
The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of patients and NHS staff while also ensuring the public can access services as normal.  The approach being taken by the NHS is to identify potential cases of COVID-19, isolate them and then contain the virus. This model is devised to protect GP practices, the ambulance service and our emergency departments. It is designed to keep staff and patients safe while facilities remain open.

What is the advice to patients and the public?
People should call NHS 111 now if they have been:
• to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if they do not have symptoms)
• to other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
• to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
• in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus.

Anyone who meets the above criteria should not go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital. Instead they should call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

How are people tested for COVID-19?
We test individuals when they meet the criteria for a possible case of COVID-19. Most cases will require a single nose and throat swab which will be sent for testing to PHE Colindale or other identified regional laboratories. Samples required are:
• either a combined nose and throat swab in one collection tube containing universal transport medium
• or a single swab used for throat then nose
• or individual nose and throat swabs in separate collection tubes.

What happens next:
So far, the focus of our work has been to identify individuals who either have the virus or have been in close contact with someone who is known to have it. That is then followed by supervised isolation and treatment if their symptoms are significant. The isolation to date has been in a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) unit.

The HCID response is because this is a novel virus, meaning there is potentially a high consequence for society if it spreads within the community. Patients will be isolated for as long as their symptoms continue and until their viral load has diminished to a level where it’s safe for them to be discharged and carry no risk to anybody else.

COVID-19, for the vast majority of people, is like a bad winter cold or flu. Those with mild symptoms would not normally require hospitalisation, but at this stage while we are in the identify, isolate and contain model, we are taking steps to reduce the chance of spread to the community.

What should the Independent Healthcare Partners Network be aware of?
Make sure that you ask international patients about their recent travel history. Remember to check if they have been:
• to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if they do not have symptoms)
• to other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
• to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)

If any of the above apply then do not transfer them to your facilities, and please instruct them to follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

For more information about the Coronavirus visit,


The Data Protection Fee, does your company need to pay?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s data protection regulator, has launched a campaign to remind small organisations, small companies, and SMEs of their legal responsibility to pay a data protection fee. The move marks the start of an extensive programme to make sure the Data Protection Fee is paid by all those who need to pay it.

The Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 require every business that processes personal information to pay a data protection fee to the ICO, unless they’re exempt. Not paying when you should may result in a fine of up to £4,000.

If you’ve received a letter from the ICO, you need to either pay your fee promptly or let the ICO know you’re exempt, so they can update their records. If you’re not sure if you’re exempt, you can take an online self-assessment at

Sharing personal data – such as names, addresses and birth dates – helps makes life easier, more convenient and connected. Customers share data every time they visit your website, search for or buy something, use social media or send an email. But people’s data belongs to them. It should be used only in ways they would reasonably expect, and be kept safe. Anyone holding, recording, storing, updating or sharing personal data for business purposes on any electronic device – including using CCTV for crime prevention purposes – are likely to be required to pay a data protection fee to the ICO. There is also an online registration to complete, which takes approximately 15 minutes.

It’s the law to pay the fee, which funds the ICO’s work, but it also makes good business sense. Whether or not you’ve paid the fee could have an impact on your reputation. Paying the fee and being listed on the ICO’s register of fee payers shows that a company takes its data protection obligations seriously. It’s a strong message for your customers – it lets them know that you value and care about their information. It also lets other organisations know that you run a tight ship and that you’re aware of your data protection obligations.

Most companies will need to pay £40 or £60 a year. For large organisations the fee is £2,900.

If you need to pay and don’t, you could be fined. Between July and December 2019, the ICO issued 554 monetary penalties to organisations that have not paid the data protection fee.

Act now:

  1. If you need to pay, visit and click ‘first time payment’ if you’ve not registered with the ICO before, or ‘renew’ if you have registered before. You must complete the online application before sending your payment. It takes about 15 minutes. You can save time, hassle and money each year by setting up a Direct Debit, which deducts £5 from your fee.
  1. If you don’t need to pay, complete the form at to let the ICO know why your company is exempt from paying the fee.


For tools, advice and resources on how to comply with the GDPR as a small organisation, visit

How to protect yourself from postal scams

  • Check a letter is genuine by searching online for the organisation who sent it
  • Talk to someone you trust such as a friend or family member
  • Search online for guidance on scams and how to protect yourself