Ensuring carer safety
Given the nature of live-in care – care being provided on a one-to-one basis in the comfort of an individual’s own home – the risks to our carers health and safety in light of Coronavirus is significantly less than carers who provide care in a residential setting or for those providing domiciliary care.
That said, we have adapted our ways of working to ensure best practice in protecting our carers in line with latest Government guidance. Our care teams receive the following support to ensure they can effectively do their jobs, with risk managed and controlled:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
As members of the household, it is not necessary for Professional Carers to wear PPE all the time, but we continue to ensure that sufficient PPE is available to our care teams, as well as cleaning and other protective equipment, including face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser.
We send weekly operational updates to our care teams to ensure they have the information they need to do their jobs safely. These updates provide information across a number of areas enabling our carers to be up to date on all practice, as well as sharing compliments, offering training, sharing best practice and inspiring acts of kindness.
In addition, we have a carer guidance document that is updated and communicated when guidance from the UK Government changes so our care teams have access to the very latest information.
We cover the full cost of travel around the UK, and flights from overseas are subsidised, to support our carers to get to work safely. We give all carers access to our online booking system which means they can book their train journey well in advance and choose their preferred seat, as well as avoiding busy travel hubs if preferred, all without being out of pocket. Any carer travelling from overseas is supported with the cost and logistics associated with any testing requirements for safe travel.
Accessing the vaccine and tests
All Professional Carers are given access to weekly PCR tests and can request lateral flow tests, both of which provide reassurance. Our carers also have priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine through the national booking service and a large percentage have opted to take the vaccine.
Protecting our carers health and wellbeing
We are proud to have harnessed our technology and creativity to enable our teams to benefit from the following events and initiatives during this time:
A carer community
Using our market-leading digital technology carers have felt supported and connected to other care teams despite the physical distance between them. Our carer community features a social forum where carers can virtually meet at any time of the day, which has resulted in carers reporting feeling less isolated and more supported. Carers have used the community to share recipes, ideas of things to do with their clients, best practice on how to care for their clients during this time including activities and things to do during isolation, as well as enabling a forum for emotional support. This technology has seen some incredible examples of our care teams going above and beyond during the crisis – hosting family quizzes using ‘Zoom’, organising virtual birthday parties and other celebrations and events.
Our carers can contact us 24/7 via a dedicated phone line. Whether they need advice or guidance on a client related matter or they’re after a friendly ear, we’re here any time of day. We also have an Employee Assistance Programme which can be used for support with any personal challenges which might adversely impact a carer’s wellbeing, health and work performance. It is an independent and entirely confidential service offered at no cost.