We wanted to give you some reassurances about the work and planning that we have been doing to support you around the evolving concerns of COVID -19 (Coronavirus).
Firstly, we wanted to tell you that we are monitoring the situation as this unfolds on a daily basis and that we are working with official agencies to both inform and act on the latest scientific and clinical advice.
To provide you with some context, as an experienced home care provider, we are well versed in putting in place contingency arrangements. We have to do so most years to combat unseasonable weather, transport difficulties etc. and the disruptions this can cause in our staffing levels and inaccessibility to areas badly affected as well as dealing with winter pressures on hospital beds and other care services.
Initially, the most important part of our planning has been to remind all staff of the importance of frequent and good handwashing technique using soap and warm running water. This is singularly the best way to avoid contamination and to prevent the spread of infection. Alcohol gels do not offer as much protection and should therefore only be used in circumstances where water and soap are not available.
Facemasks are not effective in most cases and will not be worn routinely by staff. It is possible, however, that people who need care who have contracted the virus may be asked to wear a mask to prevent the spreading the virus to others.
The most important way you can help is by ensuring that the staff who come to visit you have ready access to wash their hands in your home with soap and warm water. Where possible, single-use paper towels should be used to dry hands.
Staff will be expected to continue to use gloves, aprons etc. for delivering personal care in the same way as usual.
We will be monitoring the situation daily and in any event, we will remain in contact with service users to keep you informed of any actions that we may need to take. Our primary concern is making sure that our service user’s care is delivered safely. We hope that you will understand that where changes are required to maintain safety we will be making these decisions with you in mind and in line with the very best advice.
Individual service users will have received this information in the form of a letter from their local Heritage Healthcare office with further information on how their care may be affected.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can find your nearest Heritage Healthcare office by clicking here and contacting the management team.