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Coronavirus COVID-19 update

These are strange times and everybody is being asked to pull together to protect the NHS and to protect the lives of others. As the situation with COVID-19 escalates beyond the levels seen earlier in 2020, we have reviewed our working practices in line with revised government guidance. We are asking everyone to be extra vigilant and considerate of social distancing and the wearing of PPE.

Never has the ability to protect the lives of others been so important, by following the government guidance we can all play our part.

 

My role and that of my team is to work together to solve the following 3 challenges:

  • Protect you as an individual

  • Protect all clients

  • Protect the care team

We ask that you follow the government guidance on National Lockdown and Self Isolation and if you are not our client but live with them this applies to everyone in the household. Failing to follow government guidance puts you (or the client you live with) at risk, as well as our other clients, the care team and their families.

Please value the care team, the work they do and respect that they continue to provide a service despite their fears and worries.

Changes you may see:

  • Visit times may need to vary from your preferred times, depending on the team on shift. Whilst we endeavour to notify you of any visit changes of more than 30 mins, we are anticipating that the challenges we face may not allow for that to happen. 

  • Carers may change and you may see new carers.

Why these changes might happen:

  • A combination of factors outside of our control may impact on services over the next few months.

  • You may see more new Care Practitioners than you expect as we have over recruited to the care team in order to maintain continuity of service in the case of carers isolating or should we need to provide additional services in support of the NHS.

  • We are attempting to split our care team in to 2 distinct geographic areas in order to reduce the number of carers going in to clients homes, this may mean that you do not have the usual carers. Please bear with us, as soon as we feel it is safe to do so we will return to normal work practice.

  • We may have clients who are COVID-19 positive and require more time and changes to working practice.

  • We believe that if there has not been any breach in the wearing of PPE and following of hand washing guidance all clients and care team should be safe from transmission.

Action plan:

  • From December 2022 all carers are required to symptomatic LFT test for COVID-19.

  • If a Care Practitioner has reason to believe a client has COVID-19 symptoms, they must leave the room and phone the office for further guidance (or 999 if client has breathing difficulties).

  • The care team will wear face masks, eye protection, aprons and gloves when working with clients as per government guidance.

  • If any member of the care team has any COVID-19 symptoms they will LFT test and self isolate if the result is positive as per the government guidance.

  • We will prioritise client visits in line with our emergency response planning.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

The care team will wear the following PPE for all client visits:

  • Gloves

  • Apron

  • Face mask - dependant on client preference and client Covid-19 status.

 

All of the care team have been issued gloves, aprons, paper hand towels, face masks and eye protection.

Our emergency coding:

Coronavirus COVID-19 is a huge threat to the care sector with experts predicting that 20% of the care workforce could be off work at any one time due to self isolation, quarantine or suffering from the illness. Should we have a staffing problem then we will prioritise our clients according to their level of need and whether they live alone.

This will mean that visits may need to be moved to a later time of the day, the visit duration shortened or the visit cancelled. We prioritise our clients based on the following criteria:

High priority

Clients who live alone and have complex care needs (assistance with medication, meals, repositioning or continence care).

Medium priority

Clients who require assistance with medication, meals, repositioning or continence care but live with a relative, have a Live-in Carer or have family nearby who can step in in an emergency.

Low priority

Clients who require assistance with a shower, bath or domestic support.

Clients who we only provide respite visits for.

Should we be faced with a shortage of staff, our High level clients will be prioritised, Medium and Low level clients may have their visit moved to a different time that day or in a worst-case scenario the visit will be cancelled. Our office and care team will be working under a great amount of pressure to try and ensure that all of our client needs are being met. Care visits are already in high demand and this demand is continuing to increase.

General coronavirus hygiene principles (advice given to care team)

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The best way to reduce any risk of infection is good hygiene and avoiding direct or close contact (within 2 metres) with any potentially infected person. Our care team always maintain high standards of hygiene and follow strict infection control guidelines, however as we care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, during this outbreak we expect you to be extra vigilant about hand washing, coughs and sneezes, and keeping clients’ homes clean.

The wellbeing of our colleagues and clients is our highest priority. The general hygiene principles everyone should be following include:

  • Washing your hands often – with soap and water (or using alcohol sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if hand washing facilities are not available)

  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin

  • Employees washing their hands:

    • before leaving home

    • on arrival at work

    • after using the toilet

    • after breaks and sporting activities

    • before food preparation

    • before eating any food, including snacks

    • before leaving work

    • on arrival at home

    • before and after any care activity with clients

  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces

  • Wear gloves and aprons to prepare food

  • Wear gloves, aprons and a face mask (if the client prefers) whilst giving personal care

  • Use paper towels to dry hands when in clients homes

We take our caring responsibilities extremely seriously and we are keeping fully up-to-date with official advice.

If you have any questions about this information please do not hesitate to contact us on 01235 606 200 or email support@lacare.co.uk

 

Many thanks,

Leah Atherton

Director | Registered Manager

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