Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Planning
It is well documented in the media that the number of Coronavirus, or COVID 19, cases being confirmed is growing by the day. Although at the time of writing this, there have only been two confirmed cases in Somerset.
Care Wyvern are receiving regular updates from the government and UKHCA, providing us with information and guidance as to how best manage the situation.
At this point we have been advised by Public Health England that there is no need to do anything differently in providing services. We are still in a containment phase and everyone is focused on limiting the spread and impact of the virus.
We have been instructing staff to continue to use PPE and to wash their hands more often to protect both clients and themselves. Face masks are available for carers to wear, but evidence suggests these aren’t as useful as originally assumed, so until their advice changes these will not be mandatory PPE.
We recommend that clients and their families make plans in the event that we are unable to attend your visits. It is no secret that staffing resources within adult social care are at full capacity every day. The effect of a widespread Pandemic is likely to have a significant impact on this. Our ability to provide continued services, if staff are required to stay at home to prevent further spread, will present a very challenging situation. There is not currently sufficient staffing capacity to backfill the predicted levels of absence that a widespread infection may present. Further to this, external measures that may be taken as part of a national initiative, such as the closure of schools, will affect our staffing capacity slightly as a small number of staff will be unable to work due to the lack of childcare.
In the event that our staff contract virus, have to self-isolate, or experience other related challenges; Care Wyvern will have to initiate our Contingency Plan.
Each of our clients has been ‘assessed’ between 1 and 5 based on the level of need, vulnerability, mobility, health requirements and access to additional support available to them. People assessed as a ‘1’ are those with complex personal care needs. Those assessed as a ‘2’ are those who are medication reliant. Once we have entered contingency, any clients assessed at 1 and 2 are treated as priority and then 3, 4 and 5 will be addressed capacity allowing.
Duration of Emergency should the duration of the emergency be prolonged, i.e. for longer than two days, then those individuals that have been assessed as a priority 3 – 4 will be reassessed and reprioritised as a 1 – 2 so they receive the support required.
Other steps taken may include a reduction to the number of visits per day or combining visits to allow us to make best use of the staffing capacity available to us. Please be assured that we will do the very best we can with what we have available.
This is the same emergency procedure we use in the event of bad weather, however, events such as these have proven to only last a number of days. The challenges of providing service during a pandemic, such as Coronavirus, is likely to last significantly longer.
Where possible we urge our clients to make preparations for alternative arrangements in the event that we will be unable to fulfil our normal care visits. We hope that this will not be necessary but feel it is important for people to be aware that this is very real possibility.12.03.2020