01782 919520

Coronavirus Advice

15 May Update: 
The Gateway team are still working from home. Appointments will still be hosted virtually for now.

For the moment, the Gateway team will continue to work from home. We think this is in the best interests of our staff and clients, as the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing. Appointments will continue to be hosted virtually, via phone calls and video sessions.

We all miss being in the office and meeting our clients face-to-face. We will keep you updated when our return to Tunstall is imminent and advise on the social distancing measures we’re taking in the office.

We will be keeping all appointments in the diary as far as possible. We will be offering video sessions, telephone calls, WhatsApp video calls and email support to all our existing clients.

We understand that this is a particularly difficult time for everyone. We want to make sure our clients continue to receive support from the Gateway team.

We will also be providing tips and advice through our Facebook page and on our website, We will also send this advice to clients through email. Take a look at our coping guides and technical advice for more information.

Most importantly, please remember that the Gateway team are here to support you during these difficult times. Your clinician is committed to making sure your sessions continue.

Please continue to follow the latest advice from the government, including the ‘catch it, bin it, kill’ it process.

How is Gateway conducting video sessions?

We have a variety of options and programmes available for video sessions. These include:

  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • WhatsApp video calls

You can also choose a telephone session if you prefer.

How will the process work?

Your clinician will manage and arrange your video or telephone sessions. Please speak to him or her about what programme or method you would prefer.

We will send you a how-to guide before your appointment. If you have any questions, please contact us, and we will do our best to help.

Please be advised that because we are not seeing you face-to-face, we may need to make adjustments to your sessions. We might increase parent support sessions, for example. Your clinician will be able to talk to you in more detail about this.

Any changes we make to the way your therapy or assessment is conducted will be thought about very carefully. Any alterations will be made using expert clinical judgement. We believe that you should be able to access some level of support rather than nothing at all. We hope that our clients will be open and flexible to any adjustments we need to make.

Frequently asked questions

What equipment do I need?

We are doing our best to make virtual sessions as accessible to everyone. With this in mind, you do not need very specialist equipment to continue your appointments.

For video calls:

  • A laptop or desktop computer
    • A webcam (either in-built to your PC or a separate device)
    • A microphone (either in-built to your PC or a separate device)
    • Speakers (either in-built to your PC or a separate device)
    • Wi-Fi or internet connection

It is also possible to conduct video calls through your smartphone. To do this, you will need:

  • A smartphone or tablet device
  • An in-built camera, microphone and speakers (this is standard for most smartphones)
  • 4G or Wi-Fi connection

We suggest that you use earphones with a microphone attached if you have them. This will help you hear and be heard clearly. Your iPhone/Samsung/other phone headphones should be ideal for this.

For telephone calls:

  • A mobile or landline phone
  • Signal

You may want to use earphones with your mobile device as well, as going hands-free may make it easier to manage for longer sessions.

Do I need to download anything?

For video calls on your laptop, you will not need to download any special programmes if you do not wish to. There is more information in the how-to guides.

If you use your phone for video calls, you may need to download the relevant app. There is more information in the how-to guides.

If you choose a telephone call session, you do not need to download anything

How do I join my video session?

Our how-to guides have all the information you need for joining your video session. Please refer to this when it is time for your session to take place.

I don’t think video sessions will work for my child/young person

We understand that parents and carers might be concerned that a video or telephone session won’t work for their child or young person. We believe that it will still be possible to conduct some sessions with children via video feed, although we understand that this will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are concerned, please speak to your clinician.

We do not think that the best course of action will be to postpone or hold off appointments entirely. We may ask to see the parents/carers instead to provide you with advice and techniques for supporting your child/young person. This is likely to fit in well with most therapeutic plans and should have a positive impact for both you and your child. Once again, your clinician will be able to talk to you about this.

Do I have to attend my video or telephone appointments?

Yes, if we have arranged a video or telephone session with you, the same attendance rules apply. Please attend your telephone call or video session on time.

If you cannot attend your video or telephone session, please let your clinician know at least 24 hours before your session is due to start. If you do not do this, we will need to mark this as a missed session. If you are a private client, you will still be charged. If your appointments are funding by the Local Authority or another organisation, you will lose a session from your overall package.

What happens if I experience technical difficulties before or during the call?

We will do our best to minimise any technical difficulties, but please be aware that these might occur.

Issues like:

  • Internet speed
  • Speaker quality
  • Microphone quality
  • Problems with Zoom

Could all impact on your session. If we experience any technical issues, we will endeavour to continue the session with the video feed turned off. If this does not work, we will continue the session by telephone.

If you are struggling to connect before your appointment, let your clinician know, and we will make any adjustments necessary to your session.

Please be patient with us while we begin using this technology!

Tips for helping your session go smoothly

Some other tips for helping your video sessions go smoothly include:

  • Choose a quiet place for your video session. Somewhere with a neutral background and not too much noise is usually best.
  • Use earphones with a microphone attached to improve sound quality (just earphones could be fine too!).
  • Try to avoid interruptions as much as possible. If you are a parent/carer and can, ask your partner to watch your children while the session is underway.
  • Ask all family members to keep the noise down while your session is underway.
  • Keep pets away from the room while the session is underway to avoid distractions.
  • Test your microphone and video before you join the call.
  • If you want to, you could restart your computer 30 minutes before the session to make sure your technology is running as quickly as possible.
  • The same attendance rules apply to video sessions. Please attend your appointment on time. If you are unable to attend, please let the clinician know at least 24 hours before your session is due to take place.
  • If you need any adjustments making to the schedule of your call (for example, if you would prefer two 30 minute sessions a week rather than one 1 hour session), we may be able to accommodate you. Please speak to your clinician about this.
  • If you have any technical difficulties, please contact Lauren (lauren.forse@gateway-psychology.co.uk) or Charles (charles.forse@gateway-psychology.co.uk). We will do our best to help.
  • If you have any other questions or concerns, please speak to your clinician.

Thank you for your patience!

We know it is a difficult time at the moment, with guidance from the government rapidly changing as the situation progresses.

We are doing our best to ensure our clients still receive support from Gateway Psychology. We hope that video sessions will help us do just that and will endeavour to keep all appointments in the diary.

We will keep you updated with how to situation is progressing and advise when appointments can return to normal.

Do you have any questions?

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about what Gateway is doing about the coronavirus. Please contact us on 01782 919520 or email admin@gateway-psychology.co.uk.