What precautions are The Care Company taking to reduce the risk of COVID and other respiratory infections? The Care Company follows Department of Health guidelines and updates regarding COVID-19 and Respiratory infections. 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 and have new revised Infection Control Training. Carers are provided with medical grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and always have adequate supplies which are readily available from our main office.
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- Aprons and disposable gloves are used for all personal care. Face masks are no longer mandatory but available and can be used at anytime along with face visors as required.
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.
What PPE do the carers wear? Our carers will continue to be provided with medical grade face masks, disposable aprons, gloves and visors for your 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. We like our carers to wear aprons while they are doing personal care and they will always wear disposable gloves. At present, face masks are a matter of personal choice but we would always ask a carer to wear a mask if they are getting over an illness or if you have a cough or cold. You may prefer the carer to wear a mask just as a precaution. Please let your carer know and they will abide by your preference. Some carers also prefer to wear a mask so please do not worry – this is their preference and not due to illness.
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.
As Winter approaches we are aware that coughs, colds and new variants of COVID will appear. If we feel the risk is increasing, we may ask all our carers to wear face masks as a precaution.
Will my carers come if I contract COVID? Yes, if you have COVID we will complete a risk assessment and advise our carers. We will continue to provide you with a service, we will need to do a risk assessment and it may mean that you have a slightly different visit time or a different carer. Carers will be wearing PPE throughout the visit as usual. If you have a cough the carers may wear a visor. They may ask you to wear a mask and/ or visor too as needed. If a member of your household has COVID or another infection, 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.
Are carers regularly tested for COVID? No, in conjunction with Department of Health guidelines there is no longer a testing policy unless you are on the eligibility for treatment list. See Gov.uk for up-to-date criteria.
What happens if a carer tests positive? If one of our carers has been in contact with another client who has COVID or suspected COVID, 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? You can buy tests from Pharmacies or if you are eligible for COVID treatment you can order tests from GOV.UK. If you are not on the approved treatment list, you do not need to test if you have symptoms of COVID or other respiratory infections.
What can I do to help? You can help your care run smoothly by ensuring that the carers still 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. Please let us know if you have any worries or needs.
Who can I ring regarding concerns? If you have any 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.