Dear Valued In Stride Client,
We wanted to write an open letter to thank you for your support in recent months and for your understanding during Government enforced restrictions on our service that may have resulted in postponement of your appointment. We also wanted to give an update based on Government advice as to the next steps for allied health services. We understand how frustrating and challenging recent Government enforced restrictions may have been for you. Our allied health practitioners (physiotherapists, podiatrists and dietitian) and our myotherapists and remedial massage therapist have found themselves in the unimaginable position of being, in many circumstances, unable to provide the care and treatment you rely on to manage pain, injury and health conditions. Allied health services are definitely essential, we know that many of you are counting down to return to your usual appointments and exercise groups with us and we hope to get you back on track as soon as possible. Our quick relocation out of the Ascot Vale Leisure Centre yet again was frustrating. However with a quick bit of “The Block” style action, our Pilates studio on Union Road was transformed into consulting rooms. We thank you for your support through this change (and your understanding during the week in which it wasn’t painted, embracing the ‘shabby chic/warehouse’ look we had going). During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to ‘pivot’ our service delivery to get as much care to you all as possible. This has included introducing telehealth appointments (a new system for our staff and clients to do video call consultations), a new app for online exercise prescription and a whole timetable of online live exercise classes. All of these changes have been embraced by our clients, our practitioners have excelled in shifting to these new service delivery options, and importantly we would like to acknowledge the wonderful job our administration staff have done in learning new systems, triaging clients, and working from a new location.
So what’s next?
We will be following advice sent from the Chief Allied Health Officer. This is assuming the Road Map out of COVID is on track for Melbourne and we continue to move towards our pre-COVID operating levels. We thank you in anticipation of your patience whilst we get everyone back in as quickly as possible and as close to their preferred time as we can.
Step 2: From September 28
· Restrictions on face to face physiotherapy, podiatry and dietetics are eased. We can see clients face to face for things such as pain management, pre and post surgery care, to prevent deterioration of your functional condition or if you have already had your treatment delayed and further delay will likely result in a deterioration.
· We are still restricted and unable to provide preventative treatments where there is no pain or condition involved e.g. prescribing exercise for marathon training.
Step 3: Predicted to be from October 26th
· All Allied Health services will be allowed to recommence fully, except for a limitation on group therapy.
· Myotherapy and Remedial massage will resume.
Return to our site in the AVLC:
We hope to move back into our site in the Ascot Vale Leisure Centre once a new management group is appointed by council soon. Dates and opening times are still uncertain and heavily dependent on Government Restrictions around gyms being finalised.
The rooms built in the Union Rd Pilates studio will come down eventually to enable us to open up a bigger clinical Pilates space again. Indoor group based exercise is expected to be allowed in the last step towards the end of the year however, our professional association is advocating for this to be allowed sooner as it was in Stage 3 restrictions last time. As these restrictions lift we will keep you informed.
Online Class Timetable:
In response to these timelines, we have increased our online classes and have introduced an unlimited online class pass for $100. This pass allows you to attend as many online sessions as you want until the 1st November at which point we will review and extend. The option of attending casual classes at $10/class is also still available.
You should have received the new online class timetable via email this week. Please contact us if you have not seen this or you would like further information. Telehealth will continue to be available even as restrictions lift. Many of you have found this a very efficient means of getting the advice, education and exercise progression that you need from the comfort of your own home. Rebates for telehealth have also been extended beyond the original end of September cut off date. During the last 6 months, we have remained committed to the survival of our business, supporting our staff and providing continued care to our clientele. In doing this, we did not raise our fees and, in fact, for clinical Pilates, we only charged clients the group amount for individual Pilates for those able to attend one to one. We elected to do this out of goodwill and with some support from JobKeeper. However, with changes to the JobKeeper scheme and the impact it has had on staff’s wages, we will need to adjust the price for 1:1 clinical Pilates. From September 28 until the end of November, 1:1 clinical Pilates will be charged at $60 for 45min (usually $100), or $50 for pensioners.
The lockdown has been exhausting for everyone and we look forward to having all our staff at full capacity and looking after you again in our pre-COVID operating levels as soon as possible. We could not be prouder of our staff during this difficult time – what an awesome team. We are, as always, eternally grateful to our loyal client base for their understanding and flexibility in working with us.
We will endeavour to keep you updated via Facebook and blogs such as this.
Stay healthy and see you soon!
Kath and Lou (Directors)