The Ryde House Group take the current threat from the coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously. We are currently supporting over 100 service users, many of whom have complex and challenging needs and are living with health conditions that place them in the government’s high-risk category. In order to help us manage the risk posed by the virus, we have established coronavirus strategy group, which is continually monitoring the latest government advice adjusting our systems and processes to ensure our service users and staff remain as safe as possible.
The senior management and strategy group, in line with government guidance have developed a number of contingency plans to keep our service users safe, help reduce the potential impact of staff shortages due to any self-isolation and manage the health, care and support needs of any service user who is suspected of contracting COVID-19.
As a senior management team, we recognise that we are in an unprecedented time with no easy answers to the daily challenges we face; and we accept that every decision we make has consequences. Therefore, it is with heavy heart that we have taken the decision to stop all visits to our homes other than from health professionals and for essential maintenance. This is to ensure that our service users and staff remain safe and we are compliant with the government instructions, issued by the prime minister in his address to the country on 23rd March 2020.
We understand the importance of social contact, particularly for the individuals we support and the positive outcomes that visits can have. That said, we have many individuals within our services, and also staff, who meet the government and NHS criteria of ‘high risk category’ in relation to their health. Therefore, we are confident that our decision to close our homes to visitors is in keeping with the governments instructions and will help to keep all our service users and staff as safe as possible. Today we have written to family members personally to explain the situation and offer alternative means of remaining in contact with their loved ones, such as video links via skype, telephone and email. We will of course be monitoring the situation on a daily basis and as soon as the advice allows us we will relax this restriction to allow visiting to take place.
We are sure you will be aware that maintaining our staffing level through this difficult time is a challenge. However, we can assure you that we have a number of strategies in place to ensure that we have sufficient staff to make sure all of the people we support are kept safe. We will endeavour to ensure our service users continue to be supported the same core team as we know continuity of staff can be very important to individuals. However, we may on occasion need to change our teams, in the least disruptive way possible, to ensure we have an effective balance of staff to keep people safe across the whole of the company.
In line with government guidance (issued 16 March 2020) where possible we are continuing to support service users to some access to the community by way of walks where they are unlikely to come into contact with other people. However, we are following the other social distancing guidance and are restricting access to group activities such as our disco, which has now been cancelled.
Service User Testing Positive for Coronavirus
We have clear strategies in place for supporting any service user who tests positive for the coronavirus. They will be working closely with local health professionals to ensure the person receives the best possible care and support and ensure that they, our other service users and staff remain as safe as possible. We have a communications plan in place, which ensures, the service user’s family is informed as soon as possible and kept up to date. We will also ensure that other service users, their families and staff are kept fully informed and up to date with the current situation, the action we are taking and the latest guidance and information
If you have any concerns or questions about the coronavirus and how we are supporting your relative please contact the manager of the home where they reside and they will identify the most appropriate person to respond to your enquiry.