This article outlines how we are responding to the outbreak of Covid19, as well as how we plan to approach any future decisions as the situation develops.

We will always act in the best interests of people who use services – so while it’s appropriate to recognise the need for us to focus on delivering support, we will always balance this with our responsibility to check that the safety of service users is maintained.

This is a fast-moving situation which may involve us changing what we do and how we do it (this may impact on current activities and support schedules as the situation develops). We are currently monitoring Government and NHS advice to ensure that we are abreast of best practice guidance.

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Current Guidance

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Wash your hands frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue

One of the ways we become infected, or pass on viruses to others, is through the droplets in coughs and sneezes – for instance through someone who has a virus, coughing onto their hand, then touching a door handle.

A simple and effective way to protect yourself from coronavirus is by making sure you wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or a hand sanitiser if you are out and about. It’s particularly important to wash your hands once you get home or arrive at work or before you prepare or eat food.

If you are unwell it’s vital that you catch your coughs and sneezes in a tissue, or use your arm if needed, throw the tissues away, then wash your hands.

“Catch it, bin it, kill it”

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Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

A high temperature

A new, continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Stay at home advice

It’s important to stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading.

Do

Try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions

Ask friends and family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them

Sleep alone if possible

Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds

Try to stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions

Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms

Don’t

Do not have visitors (ask people to leave deliveries outside)

Do not leave the house, for example to go for a walk, to school or public places

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Urgent advice

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home

Your condition gets worse

Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online

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Our staff have completed a range of training that underpins current guidance

Hand Hygiene – This course explores the Chain of Infection with a focus on the mode of transmission and how the chain can be broken by practising the 5 Moments of Hand Hygiene. The course also demonstrates the correct procedures for hand washing and the use of hand rub.

Personal Care – This course explains how to provide personal care in a safe and hygienic way, including hand washing, use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disposal of waste.

Infection Control – Is also a mandatory training course that gives you an understanding of how infections can easily be transmitted and put people at risk.

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We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you up to date with any further developments.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Males and Ash Omar