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Dennis Donnelly Osteopathy Business Policies

Please contact Dennis if you have any questions about these policies. 

COVID-19: All Patients



These measures are both to protect both you and myself, and reduce the risk of  cross-infection, they follow Government guidelines; the current recommendations from my Professional Body and Regulatory Authority; and advice from colleagues operating at this time.

It is impossible to give 100% guarantee of safety from this invisible infection, but with due care and precautions we can minimise the risk.  


To minimise the time spent in close contact within the treatment room. I will take as much of your initial case-history by phone or by video link before the session, or, if you are a returning patient I will have a brief conversation with you before you come.

Safety precautions at my Clinics

All potential touchpoints (door handles, surfaces etc) will be sanitised before and after each patient. Equipment and material in the room will be minimised.

The room will be sanitised and ventilated between patients. There will be only one person in the clinic at any one time, and I will not be using the waiting area unless there is reason to do so. For example,  weather conditions, transport or use of the toilet facilities. I will sanitise the toilet facilities regularly but there are other building users, so if you prefer please do not use the facilities in the building. 

I will be wearing PPE, face covering, gloves, visor, and an apron. I will require you to wear a face covering, and wash or sanitise your hands before and after each visit. I will have a stock of surgical masks if you forget. As far as we know they offer minimal protection. For fuller protection the FPP3 mask is being recommended.

Please come alone unless you need a chaperone, who will also need to wear a face covering, and answer the same screening questions.

At the time of your appointment

Please be prompt. If using taxi service or pubic transport please check times.
Text or phone me (07779331860) to let me know you have arrived nearby.
I will again ask you a few screening questions before you come in.
Please put on your mask before you enter. The door will be open, just pull it towards you.
I will take your temperature as an additional precaution.

Preparation for an appointment

Please wear light clothes (e.g. leggings, t-shirt) so that I can treat you with minimal need to undress.
Gowns and towels will not be provided, so consider this when choosing what to wear or if you need to bring your own.
The couch surface will be covered with paper couch roll, seats will be protected with plastic coverings which will be disposed of immediately after you leave.
All surfaces will be cleaned before and after each patient.
Please bring as little as possible into the building.

In the Clinic

As much as possible of the session will be conducted at a distance – that is the initial consultation and physical examination.
If at any time you don’t feel comfortable then please say.
I will conduct the treatment to be as safe as I can.
The toilet facilities will be in use and sanitised between use, and/or regularly during the day, but if you are concerned about that please don’t use the toilet facilities here. 

Environmental Concerns

As the above procedures will generate additional paper and plastic waste, I would ask you, if at all possible to use your own hand sanitiser, gloves and face covering, and, any tissues that you might need and take them home with you. 

Screening Questions

1. Do you or anyone else in your household have any Covid 19 symptoms e.g. flu like symptoms, persistent cough, high temperature, change of taste and smell ?

2. Have you been in contact with anyone confirmed or suspected Covid 19 in the past two weeks ?

3. Are you currently living with someone who has been advised to shield ?

I will ask you to sign a form saying you have read this letter, have understood the implications of having treatment and agree to undergoing treatment with me at this time.

I apologise for the length of this letter but it is a reflection of the strange times in which we are living.

What if you develop symptoms after the treatment ?

If you develop any symptoms which might be Covid-19 related within three days after treatment please notify me immediately. We may need to report to Track and Trace the names of any other patients ,or staff who could have been exposed to it.

I hope that these new working arrangements are seen as necessary for everyone’s interest and needed at this time. If you do have any questions, please ask me.

Cancellation Policy

Because of my limited time working unfortunately at this stage in my career I do need to implement a cancellation policy, as avoidable cancellations do cost me time and money.

I need 5 days’ notice of a cancellation, unless there are compelling reasons – otherwise I will charge 50% of fee for first time occurrence, and if there are further late cancellations for no reason that will go up to 100% of current fee.

I am doing this to protect my income and maximise my availability as I do have patients waiting for appointments and if a session becomes free because of a cancellation I can offer it to them if I get good notice, otherwise it’s both lost income and unnecessary delay in treatment for people who can use the appointment.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Information For New Patients

What to expect at your first consultation


Important information before you come

All osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (G.Os.C), the national regulatory body of the osteopathic profession which serves to maintain professional standards throughout the profession and to protect patients using osteopathy. My practice is ultimately accountable to the G.Os.C. The G.Os.C in turn is part of the Professional Service Agency (PSA) that has oversight of all healthcare providers in the UK including doctors and dentists.

Osteopathy is thus recognised by Statute Law as a whole body healing system of manual therapy, which uses clinical diagnosis and hands on technique to help resolve problems in the joints, ligaments, muscles and nerves. 

The overall aim of our osteopathic treatment is to enhance circulation in the affected tissues; restore functionality, normal movement and structural alignment of the body to facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms.

First consultation and case-history taking

The first consultation usually lasts up to an hour, at which I will take a full medical history and conduct a physical examination. If possible I will start delivering the treatment, unless there are specific indicators that osteopathic treatment is not appropriate e.g if I think that further medical investigation is necessary, or I suspect more serious pathology, or if I think the condition is outwith my scope of osteopathic care.

I will then discuss with you my findings and agree on a treatment plan based on my assessment. Your active engagement throughout is an important part of the treatment process as I belief it helps you be in control of your treatment as much as possible.

The initial treatment plan will include my estimate of the process of recovery and likely timetable of improvement that we would wish to see as treatment progresses.

Physical examination 

As part of the initial assessment as osteopaths we ask patients to undress to their underwear in order to conduct the physical examination. This helps me to assess your overall postural status, your structural alignment, and general ease of mobility. Some of this can be done through light clothing, but there comes a time when more detailed assessment is needed to inform the precision of the treatment.

If you prefer not want to undress to your underwear then bring something light and loose like a vest top and shorts or leggings. The most important thing is to feel comfortable throughout the examination and treatment.

If you need to change when you are at the clinic screens and gowns are available.

Potential risks of Osteopathic treatment

As with any form of healthcare treatment, Osteopathy does carry potential risks of side-effects. The most common reaction being short term tissue response after treatment. This can be increased soreness or tenderness for anything between 12 and 48 hours after the treatment before the situation resolves and improvement is felt. If you are at all concerned please get in touch as soon as you can. The situation usually resolves itself and can be treated conservatively whilst the tissue settles.

It is extremely rare that any serious after affects have been connected to osteopathic treatment. Where they are they are logged and evaluated as part of our continuing development training. Most of the concerns are about vascular incidents like stroke when ill-considered manipulation of the cervical spine have been administered. I would regard these as examples of inappropriate treatment that have not been inadequately safe-guarded and delivered.

My professional view is that such manipulation is unnecessary when we have many other safe ways of addressing the neck area. I can provide further evidence of the safety of osteopathy if needed, but as I do not use the particular techniques in question I have sought to minimise this particular risk element from my treatments. To give some perspective the head position being questioned is any extreme movement of the neck, for example the head-back position often used in hairdressing salons.

I can discuss this further with you if needed before we treat your neck area.

Informed Consent

As stated above, it is very important to me that you understand my clinical reasoning and rationale for your treatment, so that we can proceed with your informed consent. I will discuss with you all aspects of the treatment and answer any questions you might have to the best of my ability. I belief that the more you understand what I am doing the better the outcome for the treatment, but there will always be an element of entering the unknown as every person is different and no-one can predict the precise outcome of any treatment. 

I will also consider with you other treatment options that might have both risks and benefits for your condition. Or, if I feel that some other therapy might be better for you, I will discuss that with you at that time. It might be that this question comes up at a later stage in your treatment as well, and we can discuss it further at that point.

Having discussed all matters concerning your treatment as above, including duration and cost I will ask you to sign a consent form. I will also ask you for your verbal consent as the treatment continues, or, if we introduce new ideas or techniques as I see to be appropriate and timely.

If at any time you feel it necessary you can remove your consent to treatment.


You are welcome to bring a chaperone of your choice if you feel this to be appropriate, particularly at the first consultation. I am not able to arrange this for you, so do think about it before you come if this is an issue for you, or if you need to re-arrange. 

If you are accompanying a minor (below 16 years) then it’s not a problem as you will be the chaperone.


All patient information is kept in strict confidentiality at all times. The Clinic is registered with the Data Protection Register and we operate under the General Data Protection (GDPR) requirements operating in UK. Our policy statement is available on this website.

There might be occasions where it is appropriate to share your clinical information, for example when contacting your GP or other healthcare provider.  On these occasion I will seek your agreement, and ask you to sign a disclosure form before any of your personal details are released.

Feedback or complaints

Feedback whether positive or negative, is always welcome. During your appointment, feel free to discuss any aspect of your treatment or any issue that may arise. You  can call me directly on 07779331860, or speak to my colleague at the Kendal clinic Mr Ed Snoad 07899 657058.

If the issue cannot be resolved by mutual discussion and you wish to proceed with a formal complaint then you can contact the General Osteopathic Council at : Osteopathy House, 176 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 3LU tel : 0207 357 6655

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