This update provides information on our current position to reassure families of the measures we are taking as a foundation to protect against the current outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19.
We are in regular contact with the Government and Public Health England (PHE) so that we have the most up-to-date advice and information. This includes specific guidance for social or community care and residential settings and for educational settings. Based on the current advice our services still remain open, but we are taking extra steps to safeguard students, residents, service users and colleagues. The situation is continuing to change and therefore guidance regarding actions that should be taken is being regularly updated and we review the situation daily.
We have risk assessments and contingency plans in place to ensure we maintain continuity of service (as far as possible) and keep all staff and students, residents and service users safe.
We have worked closely with our cleaning contractor to ensure they are using appropriate cleaning products and have increased the cleaning regime in our buildings.
All staff have been provided with antibacterial wipes to ensure ongoing cleaning happens throughout the day.
There are hand sanitising stations in our buildings and direction for people to wash their hands before entering the building and signage in all bathroom areas.
We are continuing with personal protection equipment with all personal care including aprons and wipes.
Staff have been advised to follow latest government guidelines, which currently states to self-isolate for 7 days if they have a continuous cough or a high temperature or fever, we recommend they keep us to date with any changes.
Please continue to check the latest government guidance at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
For school and college students who display the symptoms we advise government guidelines are adhered to in the same way. If students are presenting as poorly in service we will be sending them home to isolate as advised.
Impact on staff absence as a result of the current government guidance may mean that we have to make adjustments to our usual programme of activities.
Non-essential visits to the service have been cancelled and we are making appropriate changes to activities which includes cancelling trips or outings where possible.
Students, residents and service users are supervised during handwashing and are taken to wash their hands at regular intervals. Staff are vigilant if students, residents or service users are touching their face and will take them to wash their hands.
We have also taken the decision further enhance these measures by temporarily suspending community lettings at our school sites until Monday 20 April 2020. We have done this to safeguard the health of the vulnerable students and residents who live – typically all year-round – on both sites. We will review this situation regularly in line with the latest information available.
Anyone planning to visit one of our residential homes should contact the Registered Manager before your visit.
We will continue to review our policies and amend plans as guidance changes.
We hope this offers reassurance that we are taking every measure possible, whilst we endeavor to protect the vulnerable people in our care and ensure we continue to provide a service to those in need.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, residents, service users and colleagues are always our top priorities. Following the updates in the news regarding Coronavirus – COVID 19, we want to take the opportunity to remind you of the latest advice from Government and Public Health England (PHE).
We would like to reassure you that we are in regular contact with the Government and Public Health England (PHE) so that we have the most up-to-date advice and information. This includes specific guidance for social or community care and residential settings and for educational settings. Based on the current advice our services remain open as usual, but we are taking extra steps to safeguard students, residents, service users and colleagues. The situation is continuing to change and therefore guidance regarding actions that should be taken is being regularly updated and we review the situation daily.
The latest advice and information about the virus and the situation in the UK can be found on:
Following the advice from the Government and PHE, we would remind everyone to continue to ensure high standards of personal hygiene including washing your hands thoroughly. Good hygiene is important at all times but, due to the current situation, we would ask for your support in playing our part in minimising the risk of the virus spreading at this time.
The NHS website contains useful hygiene and prevention advice:
You can also use the 111 online coronavirus service to check if you need medical help.
Colleagues returning from either Category 1 or 2 countries MUST contact their line manager prior to returning to their usual place of work.
This is a useful guide to how the symptoms for Coronavirus, colds and flu differ
What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?
There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially
- on arrival and before leaving Percy Hedley premises;
- before and after eating or preparing food;
- After using the toilet;
- Before and after completing personal care, and
- After blowing nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Try to avoid people who are unwell.
How do I safely visit a Percy Hedley service?
Hand washing. It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before you visit the care home, and regularly whilst you are at the home. Please make sure you wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, using either hot water and soap or 60% alcohol sanitiser gel. The NHS has a video guide to effective handwashing here. Additional hand sanitising stations have been set up at our premises to help visitors wash their hands regularly.
Coughs and sneezes. We understand there are many reasons why someone may have a cough or sneeze. However, whilst visiting any of our services please make sure you have a tissue on you at all times so that you can catch a cough or sneeze. Please then immediately dispose of the tissue in the bin. Remember – Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.
If you are currently feeling unwell, please avoid any unnecessary visits to any of our services if you currently feel unwell, particularly if you have a cough, a fever or high-temperature, or have shortness of breath.
If you’ve recently been abroad or been in close contact with someone who has please do not visit any of our services if you, a partner or a dependent has recently returned from a Category 1 or Category 2 country, as defined on the NHS website – see details here.
If you are unsure whether you should visit, or if there are exceptional circumstances that mean a visit is necessary despite the conditions above, please speak a member of staff before visiting.
If I live in the area where coronavirus patients are reported as coming from – am I at extra risk?
PHE ensures that someone with coronavirus doesn’t put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with through contact tracing.
Contact tracing is a fundamental part of outbreak control that’s used by public health professionals around the world.
What about forthcoming trips or travel plans?
We would advise you to look at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website and monitor this as the situation is evolving.
We are reviewing any planned trips on a case by case basis.
Please follow the government advice if you have travelled to and returned from the countries and regions identified as high risk (see previous briefings). Please find details of the specified countries and regions here.
If you do need to self-quarantine, please follow the official Government and PHE advice and inform the college as follows:
If you are a student or parent/guardian of a student: please inform us if you are affected by the advice issued. We will ask you for details of your travel including dates you returned and will identify a quarantine end date. Please follow government advice. Your absence will be recorded as approved absence.
If you are a service user or parent/guardian/close relative of a service user: please inform us if you are affected by the advice issued. We will ask you for details of your travel including dates you returned and will identify a quarantine end date. Please follow government advice.
If you are parent/guarding/close relative of a resident living on of our homes please contact the home manager if you have any concerns.
If you are a member of staff, please follow our absence procedure and inform your line manager. Please stay in touch with your manager for updates and to arrange to work from home where appropriate.
Anyone with concerns about their health in relation to coronavirus should follow the PHE Guidance and contact NHS 111 if this guidance advises them to do so.