Coronavirus Q&A – with Dr Derek Williams & Professional Practitioner Daniella Williams
Would you like to start of by please introducing yourselves and your business
My name is Daniella Williams and I am the lead aesthetics practitioner and owner of Carbon Blush. I am joined by my father Dr Derek Williams who is our medical director.
Carbon Blush is a 5* health and beauty clinic based in the heart of Guildford, Surrey. We specialise in advanced skincare and aesthetics, including facials, micro-needling and filler to laser hair removal, fat reduction and semi-permanent make-up. The clinic provides a more holistic and therapeutic approach to aesthetics, ensuring that a positive mental state accompanies the chosen physical enhancements. We aim to ensure that our clients wellbeing is at the forefront of what we offer, with treatments including counselling, Reiki, nutritional therapy and GP consultations.
This short Q&A will be covering the current global pandemic relating to the coronavirus and how it has affected the medical aesthetics industry. We will be discussing the effects on patients as well as the measures and precautions Carbon Blush are taking to prevent spread and scale of the virus.
1. So can you please give us a brief outline of the Coronavirus and the measures that the clinic are taking to prevent its spread and scale
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. People have been advised to stay at home for 14 days if they have a high temperature or a new and continuous cough. Equally if you if you live with someone who has symptoms you must also be self-isolating as best you can. If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. This is the advice that is being circulated by the NHS and the government. Since it is a new disease it is not confirmed how it’s spread or how to treat it. Since it is a virus, antibiotics will not work.
In terms of management, we will be following government and NHS protocol which can be found on gov.uk.
Regardless of the virus, as a medical practice, the clinic is sanitised and cleaned on a daily basis to avoid the spread of any germs and infections. Additionally our therapists and practitioners take care to disinfect both themselves and their practice areas following treatments and social contact. Most aesthetics treatments use ‘one-time’ use products such as needles and gloves that are immediately disposed of safely, thus removing any risk of transmission. In this way, while we believe we currently uphold high hygiene standards.
Nevertheless, we have had to make the decision to close the shop in line with government guidelines.
Any repeat purchases or products that need to be ordered can be done so and paid for either online or over the phone which can then be sent out for delivery. Our online shop is fully functional and being actively used by our regular clients.
Our staff will be working from home where possible on the ‘business’ side of our organisation and any practical based employees will be following government and NHS advice for keeping safe and preventing any spread of the virus by remaining at home. We are ensuring that we are regularly updating and educating our employees and that all of their emergency contact details are up to date even with ceased treatments.
As a medical style industry we are well-qualified to identify the symptoms of coronavirus and can therefore keep an eye on patients and staff who get in touch for help – a high temperature and continuous cough being the most obvious symptoms.
2. So when do you hope to be open as normal or will there be any changes to your business operating hours?
As with many businesses we hope to see lockdown restrictions lifted or eased in order for us to re-open as soon as possible. We have many clients keen to book in their top-ups and repeat appointments as well as being able to offer many health related treatments that may boost the immunity of individuals.
As registered prescribers we are still able to operate online and over the phone for those who need to make purchases and requests. Our online shop is also fully functional and you can purchase Dr Levy, Obagi Medical and Carbon Blush Botanicals easily.
Additionally, we are taking increasing telephone consultations and prescribing the appropriate treatments and measures patients can take from home in regards to advanced skin care, mental health and physical health.
When we re-open we will be accommodating to our clients who work full time and therefore open late on Thursday evenings. We appreciate that the usual time taken out of their work to attend appointments may be more limited while businesses get back up and running, so we are happy to cater for this. By staying open late a minimum of one night a week, we hope to enable clients to visit us after work. Popularity of this service will determine whether we open later on multiple evenings. Our clients are at the centre of what we do, and we want to keep them positive and pampered during this difficult transition time.
We will also be providing offers on the treatments that we feel will benefit our patients most in this difficult time at a reduced price. This includes counselling and IV drips to help with anxiety and immunity.
3. How do you feel this is affecting your industry and your business in particular – for example beauty, medical aesthetics and prescribers
Unfortunately, I think it has had a really negative impact on our industry, as with most. Since it is a service so heavily based on human interaction it has been difficult to move forward at a reasonable pace. It is no secret that aesthetics is not always a necessity but it was also difficult for us to make the decision to close since we do offer many necessary health options that we feel would be beneficial to individuals at this time. We regularly practice in a highly sanitised and high medical grade clinic. When we re-open we will still be meeting the high standards of cleanliness required during the pandemic as we always have.
Our competitors and suppliers in the industry are equally suffering and we are having to re-align our actions to fit the situation. We are focussing more on our product range and educating clients on the reasons behind advanced skin care and aesthetics treatments.
Some of our suppliers have had initial issues with sending out products at the start of the outbreak but this seems to have levelled out now. Popular products are the only ones we tend to find more difficulty in ordering.
We greatly miss the interaction and relationship development we actively pursued with our clients but we are making sure to remain present on social platforms with our new weekly feature ‘Saturday Snippets’. On this platform we take questions the clients have sent in during the week and conversations we have had with other medical professionals to provide engaging content for our audience.
Additionally we are using this time as a business to develop our organisation, infrastructure and logistics, re-open with clear new plans, goals and aims.
From the positive interactions we have had, we hope our clients will remain loyal and return to us after lockdown. However, we project a slow growth for the coming year which is to be expected.
4. Do you have any final comments or words for your clients.
We wish our clients all the best in this difficult time and look forward to seeing you all soon. Stay safe according to government recommendations as best you can and know that this is all just temporary.