‘As a single parent with no other source of income life was suddenly looking fairly bleak’
Tomma Spilman is a very well respected McTimoney Chiropractor who treats people, largely from her home consulting room, and horses at yards throughout the Midlands. She regularly spends entire days at large race or eventing yards but also has a lot of clients with one or more of their own horses. Tomma is self-employed and runs her own business and often finds herself working extremely long hours, usually at least six days of the week.
During March, as the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, Tomma’s client base disappeared as first all racing and other types of horse competition were suspended and then the Government put the Country on lockdown. From Tuesday 24th March she was unable to treat any human or equine patients unless it was deemed to be an “emergency”. As a single parent with no other source of income life was suddenly looking fairly bleak.
Tomma’s accountant has proved knowledgeable and helpful and has suggested she may be eligible for a £10,000 local council Small Business Grant but this has not been confirmed yet. Unfortunately Tomma does not fit the criteria for the coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme so apart from being able to pick up some temporary work such as farm work, the remaining option available is the Universal Credit Scheme. The only person that helps Tomma in the business is a part-time, self-employed administrator. She has done a few hours to finish off March invoicing but social distancing was easy as she works in a completely different room. She is also still doing accounts online remotely and only being paid for the hours she needs to work.
What about the way forward? Tomma will not be allowed to start treating patients (human or equine) as normal again until the lockdown starts to be lifted and the “emergency treatment only” guidelines are removed. Patient care and safety will be placed above all other considerations as always and any Government guidelines will be strictly adhered to. However, Tomma is left with absolutely no income unless she picks up temporary work and earns whatever she can to pay the bills.