What precautions are The Care Company taking to reduce the risk of COVID? The Care Company rigorously follows Department of Health guidelines and updates regarding COVID-19. Infection control has always been a top priority for the company and our Carers are trained in how to work in a COVID safe way. Carers are provided with medical grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and always have adequate supplies. The Care Company provide weekly testing kits to all staff. Your safety and well-being are foremost in our minds at all times.
Carers are required to:
ensure they are up to date with expectations via The Care Company communications network.
wash hands with soap and water or alcohol gel upon entry to your home.
report immediately to Management if they experience any signs of illness whether COVID related or not. Appropriate guidance will be followed at this point (referred to later).
use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) safely- a face mask, disposable gloves, and disposable aprons must be used at all times, and visors (when necessary).
complete a risk assessment detailing any other work/volunteer setting they may be involved in. This is then assessed and updated accordingly by Management to evaluate any potential risk to themselves or clients.
complete a risk assessment on returning to work following a holiday/holiday travel, and follow all Government guidelines with regard to travel restrictions and isolation periods.
cease working if they have any symptoms and do a test immediately.
In addition to the above we try to reduce the number of carers that will visit you so that you have a small wrap around care ‘team’. This may not always be possible as staffing levels will change due to the precautionary isolating that carers may have to comply with. Your patience with this is appreciated at this current time.
What PPE do the carers wear? Our carers are provided with medical grade face masks, disposable aprons, gloves and visors for yours and their protection. The visors are optional and are usually only used with people who have tested positive to COVID or have an active cough.
Do I need to supply any PPE? No. The Care Company supplies the carers with this. Should you book a carer as a chaperone to e.g. a hospital appointment or shopping, then the carer will issue you with a mask to comply with the rules in operation at the hospital or store. Should you wish to wear an extra face covering for your own peace of mind at home when carers visit then please feel free to use your own.
Will my carers come if I contract COVID? Yes, if you test positive to a COVID test we will complete a risk assessment and we advise our carers. Some carers are unable to work with clients while they are in isolation due to their own or their families vulnerabilities. We will provide you with a service once we have discussed ways to minimise the infection risk with you but it may have to be at a slightly different time or with a different carer. Carers will be wearing PPE throughout the visit as usual. If you have a cough the carers may wear visors. They may ask you to wear a mask and/ or visor too as needed.
Are carers regularly tested for COVID? Yes, from 3rd December The Care Company carers have access to weekly tests. We feel this is an important step and another tool that we can use to protect you and our carers by:
identifying carers who may be asymptomatic and unaware that they have the virus, so they are able to self-isolate
preventing and controlling the spread of the virus by identifying asymptomatic cases.
What happens if a carer tests positive? If a carer receives a positive test result they will stop working immediately and self-isolate for 10 days as per Department of Health guidelines. We complete a risk assessment and make a list of all clients that the carer has been in contact with, in a similar way to NHS Test and Trace. We will advise all clients that the carer has visited. Department of Health guidance says that providing PPE has not been breached, the risk is minimal.
What happens if other clients test positive? If one of our carers have been in contact with another client who has tested positive, we will complete a thorough risk assessment to make sure all our carers were wearing correct PPE. Providing the PPE has been worn correctly, the risk to others is minimal according to Department of Health guidelines.
How can I get a test? The Care Company can help you to order a test on-line to be delivered to your address. Unfortunately we can only oversee you doing the test, our carers are unable to perform the test on you, you must be able to do the test yourself.
What happens if I have a relative staying with me who has COVID symptoms or is isolating? Everyone in your household must follow Government guidelines with regards to protecting vulnerable people. If you have a relative staying with you that may have COVID or is isolating, we will ask that the person is not in the same room or around while the carer visits and that shared surfaces in your home are regularly disinfected including taps, door handles etc.
Can I go out with a carer? Yes, we are able to take you out shopping and we are providing chaperons to hospitals and surgeries. Both you and the carer will need to wear face masks as per Government guidance and in the car. To help alleviate isolation and loneliness we encourage the use of social media. Ask your carer or phone the office if you would like to arrange a video call with your friends and/or family. If this is possible it may give you all a little lift at this time.
What can I do to help? You can help your care run smoothly by ensuring that the carers have access to antibacterial handwash and paper towels or kitchen paper to dry their hands. Make sure that you have antibacterial spray or wipes for surfaces to be wiped. Provide bags for wipes or other potentially infectious material. If you have others living with you try and ensure there is frequent wiping down of surfaces that are touched regularly e.g. toilet flush handles, kettle handles. Our carers will be smiling as usual under their masks but we ask that you let us know loud and clear if you have any worries or needs. We are all finding it more difficult to hear clearly when we have masks on. Try not be put off by all the PPE we are wearing, we are still the same people underneath.
Who can I ring regarding concerns? If you have and questions or concerns please ring our office number 01580 762202 Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm where you can speak to our Managers Karen or Vicky. Outside these hours our On-Call coordinators will be happy to take your details and if they are unable to help you one of our managers will call you back as soon as is practical.
This can be a difficult and anxious time for everyone but please be assured that your well-being and safety is our priority. We take infection control seriously and are happy to discuss things at any time.