Update on Osteopathy at the Sunflower Centre post-lockdown - 28th August

We must assume that anyone who visits us could potentially be pre-symptomatic and therefore shedding the virus, leading to the implementation of a clear infection control protocol to reduce the risk of transmission from patient to osteopath, vice versa and between visitors to the building. So, to mitigate this:

- we need to establish the following:

  • that you don’t have Covid-19 symptoms;
  • that you’ve not been in contact with someone who either has symptoms or anyone with someone who is self-isolating/shielding/in an identified vulnerable group in order to conduct a risk/benefit assessment of a face-to-face attendance should this be felt necessary;
  • at times it may be decided that some advice and/or exercises will suffice and we are currently offering this free of charge.


We have implemented sensible hygiene measures to enable us to minimise the risk whilst returning to our hands on work.

What measures we have in place
Our professional bodies have given clear guidance on recommendations for best practice for all osteopaths when working face-to-face.  Given that it’s impossible to adhere to the two metre social distance rule during osteopathic treatment, we want you to be assured of the measures we have in place to meet what’s required of us to reduce/control infection transmission which include:

Effective/practical distance:

  • we have increased the distance between the chairs in the waiting room; we ask that you come on your own where possible, but if relatives do come with you, they will be asked to wait in reception;
  • we have increased the distance between the chairs in the consulting room;
  • we are staggering the start/end times of the face to face sessions in the building so that visitors don’t unnecessarily encounter others in the common areas.

Effective sanitisation & infection control:

  • the osteopath will wash their hands and forearms thoroughly between sessions; 
  • hand sanitiser will be available as you enter the building (this takes around a minute to be effective, so please bear that in mind when touching surfaces straight after you’ve used it);
  • if you need to use the toilet facilities then do please make sure that you use hand sanitiser one minute before doing so;
  • there will be a cushion of time between patients allowing the osteopath to carry out the necessary infection control measures;
  • sanitisation of the clinic building between patient visits to minimise the risk of transmission, including wiping down plinths, chair arms, door handles, handrails and frequently touched areas where necessary;
  • use of plastic pillow covers and plinth covers;
  • use single-use nitrile gloves and regular hand-washing, including around donning and doffing masks, aprons, gloves;
  • wear either single use waterproof aprons or single use items of clothing that get laundered at the end of the day on at least a 60’ wash;
  • ventilate rooms for 15-20 minutes between patients to reduce viral load where someone is infected but asymptomatic. 

Continual risk assessment and reduction

  • if you’re a new patient, we may conduct the case history over the telephone before you arrive (in the previous 24 hours) in order to reduce the time you spend inside the building; 
  • we have separated the entrance from the exit routes to/from the practice;
  • bookings will be spaced out more in order to effectively carry out the sterilisation between patients;
  • on the ground and first floor there are ‘sluice’ areas or ‘passing places’ in case visitors & their practitioner do encounter others (we are doing our best to avoid this happening); 
  • we will ensure that any other practitioners offering therapies at the centre notify us if either they have any Covid-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone who has
  • if one of the osteopaths develops symptoms within seven days of treating you, we will contact you to let you know.

What we ask of you: 

  • to go through a pre-screening telephone call with us before your appointment;
  • let us know if you or anyone in your household have had any symptoms of Covid-19 within the last seven days before your appointment;
  • bring as little with you as possible - and please bring your own water;
  • if you drive to the centre for your appointment, please wait in your car until the time that you are due so that you don’t unnecessarily encounter other patients/clients in the building;
  • whatever your mode of travel, please DON'T ARRIVE EARLY for your appointment;
  • immediately on entering the building, please either use hand sanitiser or wash your hands thoroughly;
  • let us know if you have any condition such as asthma or hayfever that might lead to increased droplet transmission (whereupon we will give you a mask to wear also).

We fully understand the nervousness that many are feeling as discussions around easing the lock down gather pace; we hope the cautiousness that this nurtures will help protect those who are vulnerable and reduce their exclusion from the outside world.

We’re also aware that there have been many different experiences of the lockdown of recent months; maybe you’ve been through significant hardship these last weeks, you may even have locked down early because of living with a vulnerable relative. You may have been living on your own and felt very lonely; you might have even lost someone to the virus. Perhaps you’ve been extremely stretched managing your children’s engagement with their school curriculum alongside your own workload - or has it been a blissful time where you’ve been furloughed and have enjoyed the freedom and rest that this time has offered? 

Whatever your experience, we look forward to hearing your story and seeing how what we have to offer can support you to continue to adjust to this new normal and help alleviate what’s happened or built up for you since not being able to access the help that manual therapies can provide. 

Joanna Mitchell DO

The osteopaths at the centre have their own individual approaches, one might suit you more than another. Click here to access more about our osteopaths.

Contacting us:
Joanna Mitchell is principal osteopath and is fielding enquiries whilst we don't have reception cover. If you want an initial chat about whether osteopathy is what you need, or to talk about how we might be able to help, then get in touch with her by email at jo@thesunflowercentre.co.uk giving a brief description of why you’d like to be seen as well as the best number to get back to you on.

If you know that you'd like to see Soran David, then please email her on soran.david@talk21.com 

If you know that you'd like to see Aidan Spencer then you can contact him at aspencer.osteopath@gmail.com 

If you know that you'd like to see James Britton then you can reach him at britton.osteopath@hotmail.co.uk

We have a new member of the team, Colette Tirimo. In these covid times there are fewer appointments each day and we are getting quite busy. Colette has kindly stepped in to take up some of the slack. You can reach her at colette.osteopath@gmail.com

You can find our bios and approaches here.

You could also leave a message on our usual number and one of our osteopaths will be in touch - 020 8694 2714 - but it will take a little longer to process your enquiry.


Osteopathy at the Sunflower Centre in Brockley, SE4
There has been a core of Registered Osteopaths working from this lovely practice since the early 1990s; the Sunflower Centre was set up as a multi-disciplinary complementary health centre in 2006 and has continued to grow in reputation and scope since that time.  Many people we treat live within walking distance, however we serve a much wider community than Brockley, with people coming from near the river Thames, down to Bromley, Croydon, across to Brixton and including Blackheath (SE3) and Greenwich (SE10). 

Training, Experience, Patient Care and Convenience
The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) is the statutory body that regulates Osteopathy under the Osteopaths Act 1993. All practicing osteopaths have undergone a four year full time training covering anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical skills and tests and osteopathic technique.  We also undergo a long period of supervised clinical hours before graduating.  As such we can be considered to be positioned within the Primary Care Field. 

The four Sunflower Centre osteopaths have over 70 years' experience between them. Please note that due to the changes in osteopathic practice in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, James Britton has chosen to take 'non-practicing' status. We'll update you on when he returns to full practicing status as we know more.

Patient care is at the heart of what we do and how we think.

Read on for information on for some background information into Osteopathy and for information on the individual practitioners, their specialist interests and how they work.