COVID-19: ECLIPSE PROPERTIES RESPONSE
COVID-19: ECLIPSE PROPERTIES RESPONSE
This statement has been updated in line with current government guidance on the 3rd April 2020. We would request all local authorities read this, and make requests in line with this revised statement.
Eclipse Properties Ltd - COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Plan and Statement 13th March 2020
As we can all appreciate this a time of uncertainty for all organisations and this plan has been put together based on current government guidelines and advice from the NHS. We have assessed that none of our young people are in the vulnerable groups. They are all fit and well and have no underlying health issues. This does not mean the virus could not affect them. To this end we have implemented the following. This plan may change depending on changes in government guidance.
On Friday 13th March all young people were issued with a letter explaining what measures to take to avoid getting ill. This letter also went into specifics about how to keep areas clean within property, how to wash hands and how often and how far to stand from someone. It also explained what to do if a young person starts to feel unwell.
Along with these letters each young person was given a bottle of antibacterial hand wash and antibacterial surface cleaner and cleaning cloths. It was explained to them how to clean and to remember to wash hands. UASCs had this explained to them in their language using staff who can speak these languages as translators.
Young people have all been issued with signs reminding them to wash hands which have been strategically placed in properties so that they can act as a reminder to wash hands as soon as the young person comes back to the property. Notice boards in properties already have emergency contact details on them, we have also added NHS contact numbers.
All young people have been educated on the virus and have been asked not to make unnecessary trips for social reasons. Unless the young person shows symptoms, we are not asking them to isolate, but we have requested they think about whether it is necessary to go out.
Anti-bacterial hand wash has been placed in all properties so when staff arrive and when they leave, they will be required to wash their hands first. PPE has been issued to all staff, this includes masks, gloves and hand sanitiser.
Gloves have been issued so when staff are opening and closing doors and dealing with property issues, they are not touching anything with their bare hands. This is to protect staff but also to protect the young people and deter the transfer of germs from one place to another. We are also adapting vehicles to allow driver isolation.
If staff do have to self-isolate this will take place right away and the staff member will either not come into work or be sent home right away. Depending on what area the staff member works in, we will then investigate to see who they have come into contact with and these people will be informed that this staff member is now isolating. If they have come into contact with a young person, this will then be discussed with the young person’s social worker and next steps will be agreed.
A deep clean in the young person’s property will take place and in the interim the young person may need to be housed at one of our other properties until this has been completed.
Staff contact with young people has been reduced to essential contact only and in line with this we have suspended all non-urgent medical appointments for our young people for the time being and these will be re-arranged when guidance and impact of the virus is clearer. Any planned moves, placement planning meetings and LAC reviews will go ahead if all attending are in agreement.
If all staff do go off due to the virus, we are already in talks with local recruitment agencies who will provide staff on a short-term basis to support our young people. This will be a last resort due to the cost implications for the company.
Government guidelines are changing every day and in line with these changes we are reviewing our current arrangements daily so that they stay in line with Government guidance. We would like to assure all Local Authorities and shareholders that the well-being of our young people and our staff is the biggest priority at the moment and we will keep on working toward this goal in these uncertain times.
Eclipse Properties Ltd - COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Plan and Statement: UPDATED 3RD APRIL 2020
- Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Do not meet others, even friends or family.
- You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
As a provider we are trying our best to carry on with all necessary services so our young people receive the support they need at these unprecedented times. Well-being checks and ensuring the young person is adhering to government guidelines during this time, they have all of their necessities including food and toiletries and safeguarding is our priority.
Due to this it has been necessary to make some changes to how the service will now be run and delivered.
Shopping for Necessities and Food
One trip to the supermarket will take place within a 7-day period. The young person will be asked for a list of essential items they require for that week. Non-essential items will not be purchased. Essential items will include:
- Food for the week so the young person can eat healthy, nutritious meals including drinks.
- Toilet roll and other essential toiletries or cleaning products.
The support worker will assess essential/non-essential items on the list and will then explain to the young person what will be purchased/not purchased. The young person may accompany the support worker to the supermarket ONLY if they are adhering to current guidelines.
At this time when we are trying our best to safeguard our staff, we cannot put our staff in danger by making them visit multiple shops to purchase items for young people. The 2-meter distancing rules also mean queues outside supermarkets are very long at this time and due to time constraints, we cannot expect our staff to queue at multiple supermarkets. For these reasons, we have made the decision that the support worker carrying out the young person’s shopping will only visit one supermarket and purchase items from that one supermarket. The support worker will also be able to purchase substitutes if the item the young person has requested is not available.
As a company we have bulk bought certain items such as toilet roll, toiletries and cleaning products so we can provide these if they aren’t available in a supermarket.
We appreciate that LAC Reviews may still need to take place. Support worker and YP will be present at the property only, interpreter needs to be arranged via conference call.
Health Appointments and Educational Appointments
These have all been suspended for the foreseeable future until we receive further guidance from the government regarding the lockdown. We continue to provide a limited service for those young people that have on-going medical issues.
Education Provision and Facilitating this
When young people are struggling to log onto education provider online portals, the support worker is having to sit closely with the young person to help them with this. The support worker is then not following the 2-meter distancing rule and putting themselves and the young person at risk. For this reason, it will now be the responsibility of the education provider to ensure the young person is able to log on and complete work. If the young person is struggling with this, then the young person will need to contact their education provider and discuss ways forward.
Below you will find current government guidance for vulnerable children who have a social worker and what responsibility the education provider has towards these children:
Do vulnerable children have to continue to go to an education setting?
There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at severe risk. In circumstances where a parent does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and education setting should explore the reasons for this, directly with the parent.
Where parents are concerned about the risk of the child contracting the virus, the school or social worker should talk through these anxieties with the parent following the advice set out by Public Health England.
Providers may also want to consider how to encourage children and young people to attend an education setting. Social workers will remain in contact with vulnerable children and families, including remotely if needed.
Local authorities and education settings do not need to complete their usual day-to-day attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance. Schools/education providers and social workers should be agreeing with families whether children in need should be attending education provision – and the education provider should then follow up on any pupil that they were expecting to attend, who does not. Education settings should also follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their child(ren) and the child(ren) subsequently do not attend. To support the above, education settings should take the opportunity when communicating with parents and carers to confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available. In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school, or discontinues, the education setting should notify their social worker.
Young People Who are Refusing to adhere to Government Guidance
We currently have young people who are refusing to stick to current lockdown rules even though staff keep on explaining these rules to them. These young people are not only putting themselves at risk they are also putting staff and family members at risk. Due to this non-adherence to rules, support workers will now only carry out well-being and safeguarding checks on these young people and they will receive their food shop once a week which will be delivered to them and left outside. They will not be allowed to travel in company vehicles, which puts them in close proximity with our staff and all staff who come into contact with these young people will carry on observing the 2-meter distancing rule.
Staff will utilise the use of WhatsApp video calling and Zoom to regularly keep in touch with these ones so that support sessions can be carried out remotely.
This statement will be updated as new guidance is released by the government and updated versions will be sent to all social workers and uploaded onto our website at www.eclipseproperties.org
In conclusion we would just like to say that the safety and well-being of our young people and staff is paramount. If staff do need to self-isolate, they will be supported with this and will be given paid time off.
Our staff are doing a remarkable job during these unprecedented times. They are not only playing a vital role in the running of social care services but they are also displaying a genuine care for the young people they are working with. We would request that the safety and well-being of our staff is respected during this time so that they can carry on with the valuable work they are undertaking.
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