As you will be aware, the health and social care sector (like others) is working hard to maintain essential services in what are extremely challenging times. Whilst the manner in which many of us work is being adapted in line with current Government and Public Health England guidance, it is recognised that much of the work we undertake can’t simply just stop. So, there is a balance to be had between ensuring, as far as possible, the wellbeing of everyone (especially vulnerable people) and maintaining vital services. I am committed to maintaining as many of the services I provide throughout this period of uncertainty whilst acting responsibly to help ensure the safety of those I work with, vulnerable people and their carers.

To this end, until further notice, the following will apply:

Where possible, I will assess and consult people using non face-to-face methods such as Skype and telephone calls. Sometimes this is not possible and, in those situations, where safe to do so, I will continue with a face-to-face approach. If this is required, current Government guidelines will be followed. Whichever method will be adopted will depend entirely upon the nature and urgency of the work and will be discussed with the instructing party and care providers where applicable.

I wish you a safe and healthy time as we work together over the coming months,

Best Wishes, Gary.

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Tel: 0203 617 1255

COVID-19 Guidance for Residential Care

The government has today published COVID-19 guidance for residential care, supported living and home care provisions.  Since the first guidance published on 25th February 2019, care home providers have adopted various approaches to visitors in a bid to safeguard their residents.  These have ranged from asking all visitors; families, health and social care professionals to limit their visits to only essential visits, to permitting all visitors asking whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Visitors to Residential Care Provisions

Concerning visitors, the current guidance for residential care homes is:

  • Care home providers are advised to review their visiting policy, by asking no one to visit who has suspected COVID-19 or is generally unwell
  • They are to emphasise good hand hygiene for visitors
  • Contractors on site should be kept to a minimum.
  • The review should also consider the wellbeing of residents, and the positive impact of seeing friends and family

How can Residential Care Providers Assist to Help Maintain Services

The guidance also provides steps that residential care homes can take to help maintain services across an area wider than their individual homes.

  • Care home providers are advised to work with local authorities to establish plans for mutual aid, including sharing of the workforce between providers, and with local primary and community health services providers, and with deployment of volunteers where that is safe to do so.

In the guidance, care home providers are invited to consider ways in which they can contribute to keeping people safe across a wider area,  including the following where possible:

  • use tools to report capacity for bed vacancies (such as the Capacity Tracker or Care Pulse) to support system resilience
  • use tools for the secure transfer of information, such as NHSMail, recognising that not all providers currently have access to NHSMail
  • increase the use of Skype and other tools for secure virtual conference calls, to ensure advice from GPs, acute care staff, and community health staff can be given

Care home providers will routinely be procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and aprons. In addition, there will be a free issue of PPE to support adult social care providers to support compliance with the updated advice. This will be issued from the pandemic influenza stockpile. Arrangements will be put in place for adult social care providers to access further PPE as necessary.