Code of Practice
Code of Practice (Ethics)
Howard Lightfoot of Lightfoot Reflexology is a Full Member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). As a Member of the FHT, Lightfoot Reflexology is bound by the FHT Code of Conduct and Professional Practice a full copy of which can be viewed at https://www.fht.org.uk/code. This code is intended for use by all members and is a guide to excellence in professional conduct and practice and forms the basis for the Code of Practice (Ethics) adopted by Lightfoot Reflexology, representing the standards against which FHT members are measured in the event of a complaint being made to the FHT.
This Code of Practice (Ethics) sets out the quality of care that clients should expect to receive when receiving therapy or over the course of a client-therapist relationship.
1. Professional Conduct & Behaviour
Lightfoot Reflexology has an obligation to uphold the dignity of the profession and shall at all times act honourably towards clients and fellow practitioners. The FHT and any other relevant professional body will be informed if any information comes to light regarding Lightfoot Reflexology or any other member’s conduct or competence that may bring the profession into disrepute, including disciplinary action by a professional association or any organisation responsible for regulating or licensing a healthcare professional; suspension or practice restriction due to concerns surrounding conduct or competence.
Lightfoot Reflexology will limit or suspend practice if performance is affected by professional circumstance.
Lightfoot Reflexology will at all times conduct themselves in a manner becoming to the profession and not behave in a way that is likely to bring embarrassment upon themselves or their professional, including appearance appropriate for therapy practise.
Lightfoot Reflexology will maintain professional boundaries between themselves and their clients and never use their position of trust to exploit a client in any way. Extra caution will be exercised in avoiding inappropriate touch, dress, conversation and treating areas close to intimate areas or areas of the body that a client does not feel comfortable or safe in having that area treated. An alternative plan will be discussed and recorded in these instances.
Lightfoot Reflexology will work in a spirit of cooperation and foster good working relations with other therapists and healthcare professionals and never criticise other therapists or healthcare professionals to clients or third parties, countermand instructions given by the client’s GP or other healthcare professional responsible for the client’s care, discourage clients from continuing with treatment, suggest treatments provided are in any way an alternative to conventional medical treatment and advise clients to tell their GP or other healthcare professionals what complementary treatments they are receiving.
Lightfoot Reflexology will not solicit the clients of another therapist, healthcare professional or previous employer and any working relationships with other therapy providers will be agreed in writing before commencement.
2. Assessing the Client’s Needs
A full written consultation will be carried out for all clients prior to treatment which will establish the client’s medical history, current medical treatment, or pregnancy status and establish informed and voluntary consent from the client to assess and provide treatment. This form will be signed by the client and the therapist. A Sub Consultation form will be completed before any additional treatments to ascertain changes to health and lifestyle circumstances since the previous treatment and maintain informed, voluntary consent to assessment and treatment. Where contraindications are identified, the therapist may ask the client to obtain written consent from their GP or care provider (or seek written consent directly) before going ahead with treatment, modify treatment, avoid affected body areas or suggest an alternative treatment if safe and appropriate to do so.
If, following a consultation, the therapist has any concerns relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of the client, including meeting the client’s expectations, then treatment may be declined or deferred. Lightfoot Reflexology may decide to refer the client to their GP or another healthcare professional for diagnosis and medical advice and this will be recorded in client records.
When working with children or vulnerable adults, Lightfoot Reflexology will have knowledge of and observe relevant legislation and request that a parent or guardian is present during all consultations and treatments and obtain written permission for any assessment or treatment to take place where the capacity for the client to give their own consent is not present. Where treatment is deemed inappropriate or unsafe, then this will be declined or an alternative suggested.
Where appropriate, Lightfoot Reflexology can refuse, discontinue or defer treatment, providing this is not on the grounds or discrimination and that the decision is justified. Justification for discontinuation or refusal of treatment may include withholding of health status or information relevant to the treatment by the client, client behaviour, intoxication or drug use, aggressive or violent behaviour, non-compliance of aftercare advice, health or safety risk to the therapist or if the therapy cannot meet the client’s needs or expectations. Any decision to refuse, discontinue or defer treatment will be communicated in a sensitive and professional manner.
Any treatment offered will be confined to the knowledge, skills and training of the therapist.
Lightfoot Reflexology will treat all information regarding the client as confidential and will only use such information for the purpose for which it was given and will not discuss or share any details regarding the client with any third party, except with the express permission of the client with the exception of circumstances in which the therapist believes the client may be at significant risk or death or serious harm, or the client may cause death or serious harm to others, in which case relevant details will only be shared with the proper authorities such as social services or the emergency services.
Personal data is collected, stored, processed and erased in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and is defined as any information relating to an identifiable, living person including (amongst others) names, contact details, dates of birth, gender and health information. Notes regarding treatments, products or equipment used as part of those treatments and treatment outcomes, client comments during treatment and/or adverse reactions during or after treatment will be kept for future reference and insurance purposes. Information obtained from clients will be relevant, not excessive, accurate, kept up to date, stored securely, treated in confidence and erased when no longer needed. For the purposes of Medical Malpractice, Public and Products Liability Insurance, records will be kept for a minimum period of ten years (or in the case of a child, ten years after they reach adulthood), unless a client specifically requests that they are erased and/or destroyed in which case treatment will cease. Clients will be told whey their personal data is needed and it will be stored in a secure data centre in the United Kingdom and replicated for back up purposes by real-time encrypted backup in a separate vault in a geographically separate location on software provided by Pathway Software. Temporary files may be stored pending upload to the server on a password protected computer in a secure home office. Paper copies of signed forms and notes will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in a secure home office.
Clients may request to see any information held on them (this will be supplied free of charge within one month of the request), for data to be rectified where it is not accurate and for data to be removed and/or destroyed. Client consent will be specifically sought in relation to the use of contact details for the purposes of marketing and the client has the right to withdraw this consent at any time.
4. Equality & Diversity
Clients will be treated fairy and without discrimination, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social or economic status, lifestyle, cultural or religious belief. It is acceptable for the therapist to take into account lifestyle and other factors when assessing, selecting, providing and modifying treatments appropriate to the needs to that individual client. Lightfoot Reflexology will ensure that clients with disabilities have access to treatment where practicable.
5. Competency & Accountability
Lightfoot Reflexology will always recognise and work within their limits of knowledge, skills and competence and only provide treatments for which they are trained, qualified and insured for and use equipment and products for which they are trained. Therapists will maintain and improve skills, knowledge and performance through continuing professional development to offer the very best care to their clients.
Full insurance cover is held for all therapy sessions, whether they take place at the client's home, a third-party treatment room / clinic or at Lightfoot Reflexology premises and is covered for Medical Malpractice Treatment Liability (including Public and Product Liability) and is held with Hiscox.
6. Health & Safety
Lightfoot Reflexology have a responsibility for the health and safety of the people we work with as well as themselves and abide by the current health and safety regulations, by-laws, registration and/or licensing requirements relevant to the practice.
Lightfoot Reflexology maintain a high standard of hygiene and every effort is made to ensure the scrupulous cleanliness of any equipment or product used and reduce any risk of infection or cross contamination. Allergies or sensitivities to certain products will be ascertained at the initial consultation stage and notes made to avoid products containing allergens.