Last Updated: Friday, 20 March 2020
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Latest Update
At Carefound Home Care the health and wellbeing of our clients and our staff is our priority and in light of the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) I wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are doing all in our power to keep you safe.
We therefore feel it is important to provide our clients, their families and our community with further information about what we are doing to help our clients, our staff and those around us and what you can do to stay safe and vigilant.
Our coronavirus policy
We have implemented a Coronavirus Policy which is being updated regularly and provides our staff with protocols and procedures to follow based on the latest guidance from NHS England. This includes:
- closely following guidance from Public Health England, NHS England, United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA), Gov.UK and ACAS
- ensuring our staff and our clients are kept updated on actions being taken to reduce the risks of exposure
- following NHS advice if a staff member, a household or a client has symptoms of coronavirus, including stay at home guidance
- ensuring access to adequate and suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing, including hand sanitiser and additional PPE to comply with latest advice (e.g. protective face masks)
- ensuring infection control measures are followed at all times including:
- wearing new disposable gloves and disposable aprons for every single client visit
- washing hands with soap and water frequently (for at least 20 seconds) – including at specified points during care delivery, when we arrive at a client’s home and just before we leave
- if no hand washing facilities are accessible, using hand sanitiser if available
- covering the mouth and nose with a tissue while sneezing or coughing
- disposing of used tissues promptly and carefully (bag and bin them)
- not using cloth handkerchiefs or reusing tissues
- not touching the eyes, nose or mouth if hands are not clean
- washing hard surfaces (e.g. worktops, doorknobs) as frequently as possible with the correct anti-bacterial solutions, especially in areas with a high general use
- not sharing cups or water bottles
- not sharing cutlery or crockery without thorough cleaning first
- not sharing food and drink which may have come into contact with other individuals first
- avoiding unnecessary travel
- avoiding crowds where possible
- in the office: refraining from using other peoples’ telephones, cleaning our own telephones frequently, cleaning keyboards frequently, trying to use our own equipment if possible, not meeting in large groups unless absolutely necessary (by using Skype or similar options instead)
Our business continuity policy
We have a thorough Business Continuity Plan which details the steps we take in the event of a major incident such as a coronavirus outbreak.
This includes steps we will take if our staff capacity to deliver care is significantly reduced. In this scenario we will prioritise care visits according to client needs to ensure critical care is covered first, using a tried and tested methodology that our team are well prepared to implement.
We are also in constant contact with our professional carers and keep an up-to-date record of who may be impacted by government measures such as school closures and who can provide additional availability if necessary.
Our technology in place is also of great benefit during these challenging times and we are using this to reduce unnecessary face-to-face contact where possible. This includes carrying out staff meetings, support visits and staff supervisions online or by telephone.
We recognise that the need for our service may increase as pressures on the primary care system evolve and so we are also working to increase our capacity to support families where we can. This includes our one-to-one live-in care service which we believe reduces the risk of infection given that it requires fewer interactions between staff, clients and others. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to learn more about this service.
What you can do to help
Being aware of the symptoms of coronavirus can help flag if you, a family member or a friend may have the virus and need to follow NHS guidance. These are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
If you begin to display symptoms of coronavirus you must follow NHS guidance which includes:
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do
- only call 111 if you cannot get help online
- you’ll need to stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms
- if you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days
- if you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible
We also request that clients and their families follow NHS advice about how to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus:
- follow the latest social distancing advice from the Government
- wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds), including before you eat or handle food, after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze and after using the toilet
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- stay active around the house and keep moving
- do not visit elderly friends and relatives at home if you have coronavirus symptoms or are generally unwell
- avoid visiting elderly friends and relatives if you can, and if you do, make sure you keep at least 1m (3ft) apart and thoroughly wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) as soon as you come in
- stay in touch with people over the phone, by post, online or by popping over for a chat (assuming the person is allowed to have contact with others, and you take the precautions outlined above)
- see if people need any shopping or help by running some errands
We will continue to work tirelessly to support you, your family and our staff as this situation evolves and I would like to thank you for your support and cooperation.
As ever, should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your local care management team.
Call us in Cheshire: 01625 326470
Call us in Yorkshire: 01423 774070