Coronavirus – letter sent to all clients on 18 March
March 19, 2020
18th March 2020
I am sure that you have all been reading the papers and watching the news about Coronavirus and how it is affecting all of our daily lives. These are difficult times and we, at 1st Homecare, are all doing our best to comply with all the new measures so we can do our part to reduce the risk of infection, particularly to the more vulnerable members of our community. However, I would like to give you some reassurances as to how we intend to work through these hard times:
• I would like to make it absolutely clear that our intention is to provide care to every one of you as normal. We have a very dedicated team of carers and office staff who will do their very best to ensure this happens.
• As part of the training for all carers, they are trained to be as hygienic as possible, and we are arranging extra refresher training in handwashing and general hygiene, so that carers can reduce the risk of infection during their visits.
• If any of our carers, or members of their household, are showing any signs of the virus, we are enforcing the government guidance on self-isolation so that we minimise further risks of infection.
• You should be aware that if there is a considerable amount of self-isolation and absence of carers due to school closures, then this may impact our ability to provide our service. To an extent other carers can step in with more hours. However, there may come a time when we cannot perform all of our care visits and, if this situation arises, we will implement our business continuity plan, as we sometimes do when we are impacted by heavy snowfall for example, and prioritise our visits so that we provide care to those most in need. This has worked well in the past although of course, the situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented.
• If any of the people we care for show signs of having the virus, we shall review each and every situation so that we can provide care in a safe way for our staff and our other clients. If this occurs, we shall also work very closely with the NHS and Local Authorities, who will, we understand, provide extra assistance as required.
• The general guidance around self-isolation is to reduce social contact with others. However, this does not mean you necessarily have to lock yourself in your house and choose not to go in your garden if you have one, or the park. We believe that fresh air and some social contact is a vital part of anyone’s life. For now, the Government is simply asking that you reduce or eliminate the higher risk situations (especially social interaction in closed spaces eg pubs and restaurants) but this advice is highly like to change in the coming days.
• If your circumstances have changed in such a way that you need extra help please let us know and we can discuss if we can help in some way. We may be able to help with shopping trips or even some companionship care always depending on how many of our workers remain working unaffected by the virus.
We intend to provide a regular update on the blog of our website explaining any changes to the way in which we intend to work, so please review this when you can, or ask a family member to have a look at it, if you do not use the internet.
Once again, I would like to stress that we will do our very best to provide our normal service throughout the next few months, and in the meantime, I wish you and your family the very best of health.