COVID-19: Adapting Your Practice

We are all going to have to make adaptations to how we operate our practices for the foreseeable future. Here we provide a series of advice and guidance on how to operate your practice safely and effectively, whilst optimising patient care.

Information and Government policy and guidance to manage the current public health crisis continues to evolve. We will update guidance in line with this advice, and in conjunction with best practice for regulated healthcare professionals working in the private healthcare sector. As has been the case throughout this crisis, definitive answers to some questions may not always be available.

Also, visit COVID-19: Clinical Guidance for the latest information.

Advice & Guides

Before face to face consultations can be considered in your clinic, you must prepare your practice as follows:

  1. You must have undertaken a risk assessment of the working environment for which you are responsible and demonstrated how you have mitigated these risks, and record these.
  2. You must ensure effective infection prevention and control measures including access to personal protective equipment (PPE).

To enable you to put these steps in place, please review the following guidance:

Only once these measures are in place and recorded, should an increased level of face-to-face consultations be considered. In addition to the above, we would recommend you review the below:

Insurance: If you have your insurance with the iO, our insurance partners are working with us to enable you to adapt your operations with safe practice protocol in place. They require members to abide by legal and regulatory requirements and make safe and appropriate clinical decisions about their work. The iO’s insurers are there to support all initiatives by not restricting cover for medical malpractice and public liability (subject to the terms and conditions of the policy), providing you take all reasonable steps to follow best practice advice.

PPE Suppliers

Identifying suppliers that provide the appropriate standard of masks can be challenging. In an effort to support the profession, the iO has identified and validated suppliers who can provide the correct standard of masks. Suppliers’ stock cannot be guaranteed and costs may vary. Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks (FRSM Type IIR) provides the level of protection required in most osteopathic contexts:

IMPORTANT: Once your order has been received, please check that the box and / or masks are labelled as the correct grade i.e. IIR masks should be labelled as such.


Potential Suppliers of PPE

Please email

Webinars & Videos

WEBINAR: Adapting your Practice Post Lockdown, by Matthew Rogers and Halo Garrity

While there are no certainties on what a phased return will look like, osteopaths will likely need to consider some adaptations as to how they operate. Matthew Rogers, iO Head of Professional Development, and Halo Garrity, Project Manager, guide osteopaths through areas of operation and practice that may need preparation under a phased return to increased activities.

View the webinar here.


WEBINAR: Infection Control & PPE in Osteopathic Practice, by Ian Harrison and Professor Dawn Carnes

A summary of best practice advice and guidance distilled from Public Health England, the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control (USA) about the important things to consider in respect of health and social care practice in current COVID-19 environment.

View the webinar here.


INFOGRAPHIC VIDEO: What to expect from your Osteopathic appointment during COVID-19

Best Practice

CORE Clapton: Example COVID-19 Safeguarding Policy

Produced by iO Council member Danny Orchard and his team at CORE Clapton, this extensive policy document provides examples of policies you may need to consider for your practice. Read here.


Preparing to re-open: Information for patients

Produced by Emily Ward and the team at Ebrook Osteopathy & Sports Clinic, this video is an example of what you can produce for your patients in an effort to support public confidence in your services.


VIDEO: Donning and Doffing of PPE for Healthcare Professionals

Clinic Posters & Infographics

iO Poster – Adapting your practice: A guide and checklist







iO Poster – Use of PPE for osteopathic practice







iO Poster – Patient assurance in clinic
Produced by the iO, this poster can be downloaded for use in your clinic to assure patients about the changes being made to your practice.





WHO: The 6-step technique to sanitising your hands

Public Health England: Resources to help inform how you can stop the spread of Coronavirus

iO Member Resources

iO – Key Worker Status Letter
For those that require confirmation of osteopaths’ status as key workers, for example: for use with schools and childcare, the iO has produced a letter which cites the relevant legislation, to use as required.

Embracing Telehealth – Case Studies

Telehealth is rapidly being included as a style of working across healthcare, including osteopathy. From our spot survey of the profession conducted during lockdown, we know that over 50% of osteopaths had incorporated telehealth into their practice.

As we ease out of restrictions, how best can we prepare ourselves for a future that no doubt demands a virtual presence? And what does this look like? Discover how these osteopaths reach their patients online using telehealth:

Templates: Health & Safety – Guidance & Policy
Published in 2018, these templates provide guidance when undertaking a Health & Safety risk assessment, development of the relevant policy and incident reporting templates.

Useful Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Here you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to osteopathic practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the FAQs here.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Safety of the public and our members is of paramount importance, and the iO is following the UK Government advice on a daily basis. Any content provided on this page is current as of the date of publishing, although such content may change quickly at short notice. The situation is unprecedented, the advice is changing rapidly and in some cases, there may not yet be definitive answers available. However, we will do our utmost to support our members and the profession throughout the period.


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