COVID-19 update, week 2

Posted: 2 April 2020

Well, here we are in the second week of the lockdown, and we’re settling into a routine that is anything but a routine – each day is different!

Speaking personally, I’m lucky that I can work from home as most of my job is administrative, but I take my hat off to all those out there who have to work is essential jobs from delivery drivers and shop workers through to our wonderful care staff, front-line carers and all those fantastic people working with the NHS. Thanks to all for keeping the wheels turning and some semblance of our normal, healthy lives running.

As we get into the routine of caring for our customers in these difficult times, we wanted to reassure everyone that we’re well stocked and supplied with PPE – masks, gloves, aprons, overshoes, etc – and they’re being used to good effect by our carers, just like Debbie in the picture above.. We haven’t left anything to chance and, rather than rely on central government sources, we’ve taken steps to buy our own and keep stocked up with essentials. It’s not cheap (what is at the moment?) but it’s the only way that we felt we could be sure of being able to do our jobs and provide protection for both staff and customers.

So let’s start by saying a big, public “THANK YOU” to all our carers, who are doing a fantastic job in some of the most difficult times we’ve ever been through. We also wanted to let everyone know that we’ve put a few measures in place to ensure safe working for all our staff with the aim of protecting both them our customers.

Safety is a funny word and means so many things. Partly it’s about reducing risks, doing things the safest way possible. Partly it’s about protection, guarding us from something nasty, like the Corona virus… but there’s two things I’ve gleaned from a lifetime of working in a number of industries.

First off, safety needs to start with us all, it’s a behavioural thing. Our staff will get used to washing hands before and after each interaction, glove up or mask up as a default, only get closer than 2m when performing personal care.. and so much more. Can I ask that our customers do the same? Wherever you can, help us to help you!

Second thing is that St Kath’s is really committed to your safety, so if you think we’re doing something, allowing something, or NOT doing something that causes safety to be affected, please tell us! We really want to know, and you’ll always find a sympathetic ear, no matter how strange the request.

One way in which we are enhancing safety is to move all our training online. Video based training is a great thing and the CQC has said in no uncertain terms that we can’t let it slip, so we’re conducting as much training as we possibly can via this method. Practical techniques are a bit more challenging but we’re working on alternatives that allow techniques to be demonstrated but  allowing the courses to run in a way we can all maintain social distancing.

Finally, we mentioned in the last blog about checking customers food and meds supplies. We’re doing this all the time now, and helping out wherever we can. We offered our help in buying groceries, for example, and we’re happy to say that we’ve been able to be of help to several people with this. Unfortunately, because families simply can’t visit at the moment (and so there’s no cash, to put it bluntly) we have offered to sort out the bill and simply add it on to your regular invoice. Simples! No-one should have to go without essentials at this time, so please DO let us know if you need to take advantage of this.