Doing Everything We Can to Keep Business as Usual …
The spread of the COVID-19 continues to dominate the news. As you would expect we continue to monitor developments very closely.
Coronavirus, or to give its official name COVID-19, is a new strand of flu virus which has previously never been seen in humans. It is believed to have originated from a flu virus which affects bats before making the transfer to humans at a flea market in Wuhan, China. Since then the virus has spread throughout the globe, affecting many countries including the UK.
At Ashwell Home Care Services we are doing everything possible to keep business as usual. We want to reassure you that our major focus is the health and welfare of both our care companions and our clients. We are ensuring that our Care companions and clients are being updated with the latest information.
We therefore want to share with you some of the actions we are taking
- All staff members have gone through infection control training
- All staff members have gone through Food Hygiene training
It is currently understood that people most at risk from the virus are the elderly and those with serious health conditions. As a home care agency who look after many people in the at-risk groups, the way in which we provide care and companionship has also needed to change so that we can best protect the people we care for. This is the advice which we have given to our Care Companions.
If we are also providing care for your loved one as a temporary measure, or to perhaps offer respite care to yourself or the rest of your family, then you may also want to follow as many of these steps as possible to minimise the spread of infection and even if not it is important that the information gets out to as many people as possible so we can best protect the most vulnerable in society.
Tips to minimise spreading infection:
- Wash your hands often – with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if handwashing facilities are not available – this is especially important if you use public transport. You should wash your hands:
- Before leaving home
- On arrival at work
- After using the toilet
- After breaks and sporting activities
- Before food preparation
- Before eating any food, including snacks
- Before leaving work
- On arrival at home
- Use disposable gloves where possible.
- Cover up any sneezes or cough with a tissue or your sleeve, then throw the tissue in the bin.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect any frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door knobs, tables and desks, tv remotes, cutlery, cups, plates etc.
- If you are worried about any symptoms please call NHS 111 or 111 online.
This table also summarises what people should do dependent on their age group:
|Group / Action||Wash hands more often||Household isolation for 14 days*||Self – isolation for 14 days**||Social mixing in the community***||Having friends and family to the house||Use remote access to NHS and essential services ****||Vary daily commute and use less public transport||Home working|
|0-69||Yes||Yes||Yes||Advised against||Advised against||Advised||Advised||Advised|
|70+||Yes||Yes||Yes||Strongly advised against||Strongly advised against||Strongly advised||Strongly advised||Strongly advised|
|Any age Member of vulnerable group with an underlying health condition 1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Strongly advised against||Strongly advised against||Strongly advised||Strongly advised||Strongly advised|
|Pregnant women||Yes||Yes||Yes||Strongly advised against||Strongly advised against||Strongly advised||Strongly advised||Strongly advised|
|Those with serious underlying health conditions||As above, but further bespoke guidance will be provided by the NHS next week|
* If one member of your family or household has a new continuous cough or high temperature.
** If you live alone and you have a new continuous cough or high temperature.
*** For example cinema, theatre, pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs.
**** For example via telephone or internet.
1 Such as anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year.
People returning from certain areas of the world are being told to self-isolate depending on where they visited and their symptoms, as well as people who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. However, this isn’t just because they pose a risk to others but they are self-monitoring in order to identify early symptoms and enable prompt medical action.
If they are self-isolating then it should be ascertained whether the person is symptomatic (Showing symptoms of infection) or asymptomatic (people who may have the infection but aren’t showing any symptoms – perhaps in the early stages of the condition though it hasn’t been conclusively proven if asymptomatic people can transfer the disease at the time of writing (Wednesday 17th March 2020). If they are self-isolating but a visit is deemed necessary then we will conduct a risk assessment to decide the best cause of action although this may involve calling NHS 111 to arrange a clinical assessment before proceeding.
If the person is symptomatic
- Avoid any further physical contact if possible – the person should remain in a room with the door closed and any belongings or waste they come into contact with should remain in the room also.
- Advise anyone with you not to enter the room. If a travel or clinical history needs to be obtained or completed then do this by telephoning the patient in the room.
- Ask the patient to call 111 from their room.
- Your care companion will inform us so that a full risk assessment can be undertaken with an infection control specialist to decide on the next steps.
If the patient requires urgent medical attention
- Your Care Companion will inform the ambulance call handler of potential links to COVID-19.If you are caring for someone who requires urgent medical attention then you should also do the same.
- Once the patient is transferred to hospital, the room may be closed and quarantined for visitors to prevent further spread of the infection.
If you would like to discuss with us you or your loved one’s care needs than feel free to contact us online or by calling 01684 778 750.