Coronavirus Information for Carers

With the Coronavirus situation changing constantly, we are condensing all the Government, World Health Organisation, NHS and UKHCA advice and putting it on our social media and website.

We will tell you exactly what you need to know, when you need to know it.

“As Care homes are closing their doors to visitors, the advantages of being a live in carer come into focus.

Working as a live-in carer means you will come into contact with very few people. By nature of the fact that your client needs live in care, they are already, to some extent, isolated.

We have taken steps to advise clients’ family members to be mindful of any isolation measures by minimising visits and observing strict hygiene regimes. We have asked clients to restrict or cancel any visits out into their communities

You are far less likely to catch the virus when you are working as a live in carer. You are likely to be safer than if you were working in many other jobs, or back home not working.

You have our support network, the benefit of industry leading training and constant advice and updates from us to keep you healthy and happy.”

Freddy Gathorne-Hardy, Managing Director

Read the March edition of your Chronicle

Look out for our new ‘Community Christies Care’ tips on social media.
We will keep you up to date with the latest advice and be translating some of the more confusing bits.

For all the latest information follow us on these channels

Latest Updates

As well as a dedicated Carer Support Team, Christies Care has a special team to deal with any mental wellbeing issues, not just during times of added stress, such as we are currently facing, but all of the time.

Our Mental Wellbeing Team have sourced some resources for our Christies Carers which can be found here: https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/ourfrontline-socialcare/

A cross-charity resource centre working with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, you can find helpful signposting and support, specifically for social care workers.

Don’t forget, you can also talk to your own Christies Care Wellbeing Team.

We are here for you.

Live in care is different to hourly care or work in care homes. As a live in carer, you are seeing only your client. You are effectively self-isolated with that client.

Here we set out our guidance for using PPE, following government guidelines but adjusted (following the right risk assessments) to be suitable for live in care.

Hand washing is always the most effective way of reducing the transmission of Coronavirus and other infections

If your client does not have Covid 19 or the symptoms of Covid 19, you do not need a mask or any more PPE than you would use anyway. Use gloves and aprons just as you always do.

If your client has Covid 19 or symptoms of Covid 19, Christies Care will send the appropriate PPE to the house for you to wear. Please contact your booking co-ordinator if the supplies are low.

If you are within 2 metres of anybody displaying symptoms or are likely to be within 2 metres (e.g. when caring for someone with behaviour that challenges) you should wear:

Recommended PPE itemExplanation
Disposable glovesSingle-use to protect you from contact with the client’s body fluids and secretions.
Disposable plastic apronSingle-use to protect you from contact with the client’s body fluids and secretions.
Fluid-repellent surgical mask

Fluid-repellent surgical masks can be used continuously while providing care, unless you need to remove the mask from your face (e.g. to drink, eat, take a break from duties).

You should not touch your face mask.

You should remove and dispose of the mask if it becomes damaged, soiled, damp, or uncomfortable to use. If removed, you would then need to use a new mask when you are next close to your client.

Eye protection – very rarely

Eye protection may be needed for the care of some clients where there is a risk of droplets or secretions from the client’s mouth, nose, lungs or from body fluids reaching the eyes (e.g. caring for someone who is repeatedly coughing or who may be vomiting).

Use of eye protection should be discussed with your booking team, then you should be given instructions on how to clean and store them between visits.

Eye protection can be used continuously while providing care, unless you need to remove the eye protection from your face (e.g. to take a break from duties).

Note PPE is only effective when combined with:

Putting on and taking off PPE

This should be done at least 2 metres away from the client and all disposable items should be double-bagged in disposable bags. They should be tied and marked and left in a suitable place for 72 hours before disposal with household waste.

Guidance on putting on (donning) and removing (doffing) PPE can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-care-homes/covid-19-putting-on-andremoving-ppe-a-guide-for-care-homes-video

“Mary has been so inspired by Captain Tom walking 100 lengths of his driveway, she did 87 laps around the garden before her birthday”. Read more HERE.

Are you driving with, or for, your client? Christies Carers can get free parking. Read more HERE.

We’ve been asking our clients and carers how they are beating the boredom and for some top isolation tips to make life a little easier under lockdown. See them HERE.

The government have had to hastily put plans together for supporting those who may find themselves out of work, although demand in the care industry, particularly in our live-in care and hourly care sector is set to soar. What is Furlough? What am I entitled to? Don’t worry, we’re here to demystify….

Government assistance advice

The government advice has been a little slow in coming through, but the following should give you some guidance about what assistance is available from the government, should it be needed.

For self-employed carers

You are self-employed if you are not on PAYE (pay as you earn)

For details, you can log on to the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

This will help you to understand if you are eligible for financial support as a self-employed person.

For employed carers – on PAYE

Furlough leave:

  • workers cannot request to go on furlough leave;
  • it will be for the employer to designate an employee as furloughed, in which case the choice of who to place on furlough will be one for the employer to make;
  • furlough leave only applies if a PAYE worker is at risk of being laid off (made redundant) due to the effect Covid-19 has had to their role.

You are unlikely to be Furloughed.

We are in the midst of a pandemic and hospitals are looking to discharge patients at an alarming rate: 15,000 just last week. These people will need to be cared for and the Care homes are full and/or affected by staff shortages. Would you put your convalescing mother in a care home right now? The demand for live-in care can only increase at this time. There is not a requirement to furlough any carers at this stage.

With Christies Carers, if an assignment has been cancelled an alternative one will be looked for to replace it. This is how things usually work and continue to work during the pandemic.

The Christies Care Benevolent Club will consider any valid claims relating to loss of earnings. Go to the CCBC page for more information

During this challenging time, the correct ‘donning and doffing’ of PPE is so important.

In answer to lots of your questions, and following recently updated advice from the NHS, we have put together an infographic that explains all.

We love our Christies Carers being safe, let’s help you stay that way!

Link to the PPE Advice document

It is a difficult time for all of us, but we understand that it is particularly challenging for our Christies Carers providing live- in care in isolation.

We will get through this, everyone has coped so well and we just want you to know how much support you have all day, every day (and night) to get through these tough times.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a little ‘Wellbeing first aid kit’ for you to think about, with some further reading recommendations including tips on how you can keep your mind, body and soul in tip top condition, and support your client to do the same.

Remember that this will pass. These strict government regulations are composed to stop the virus from spreading. In the meantime, try not to worry.

  • Stay informed, but in the right way. BBC news https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk or the Government https://www.gov.uk/coronaviruswebsite are both good, reliable sources of news, but….don’t read too much! Take time out to ‘get on with things’
  • Change your routine to suit your circumstances: teach your client one of your favourite hobbies, ask your client to teach you one of theirs (I can now arrange flowers properly after a lesson from one of our crafty clients!)
  • Get up, get dressed, open a window. Maybe walk in the garden, or, observing social distancing of 2 metres, in your local neighbourhood.
  • If you can’t get outside, there are plenty of indoor exercise programmes available on line and free!
  • Cook together!
  • Practice relaxation techniques: whatever floats your boat, yoga, meditation, or just some good slow deep breathing. https://www.cntw.nhs.uk/resource-library/relaxation-techniques/
  • Sleep well: turn off all screens, tv, tablet, mobile, at least an hour before bed. You can set your phone to emit a warmer, less stimulating light at a chosen time to calm things down

Keep in touch – we have a Facebook page just for you. Tell us how you are making the most of isolation, share your tips, tell us what you’ve been up to, send us pictures too. We’d love your questions as well.

https://www.facebook.com/carersatchristiescare/
https://twitter.com/christiescare
https://www.linkedin.com/company/christies-care-ltd

Bookmark these links to our website and check in often.

https://christiescare.com/christies-care/brochures-documents/coronavirus-info-for-carers/
https://christiescare.com/christies-care/brochures-documents/coronavirus-info-for-clients/

Further information

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/sleep/
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

The general advice from the government is discouraging all but essential travel. As front line workers, our carers are making essential journeys to and from their clients. You should be able to travel with a bit of planning and flexibility.

Public transport could be restricted due to lack of demand at this time and staff availability. Just plan ahead and check your journey by using the links below.

Road
Road travel is not currently affected, in fact, if anything it a lot less busy than normal as commuters stay at home to work.
Check your journey here: https://www.theaa.com/route-planner/traffic-news

Coach travel will be on a reduced timetable but still viable
Check your journey here: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/coronavirus

Train
Train operators will be running reduced timetables across several routes but there is still a good timetable in place.
Check for disruption in advance and on the day of your travel:
https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/indicator.aspx and https://www.thetrainline.com/en/help/question/5200/live-train-tracking-and-disruption-information

London underground travel
As part of the measures, TfL (Transport for London) said up to 40 tube stations that have no interchange, including St James’s Park, Hyde Park Corner and Covent Garden face being closed from Thursday onwards.

It said the Waterloo and City line would close altogether from Friday 20 March and that the 24-hour Friday and Saturday night tube service, as well as night overground trains, would cease to operate from this weekend. Transport bosses said late services on each would still run but were intended for essential travel only.

TfL said it planned to gradually reduce the capacity across the network from next Monday as it sought to focus on providing a service for critical workers. That included London buses, which TfL would begin to operate a “service similar to a Saturday”.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan added: “London will get through these extraordinarily challenging times and ensuring the capital’s critical workers can move around the city will be crucial. Frontline staff across our health and care service – as well as those ensuring Londoners stay safe and can access food and other essentials – should be commended for their hard work. We owe it to them to do whatever we can to help them do their jobs effectively.”

Check your journey here: https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/

So the key is:

  • You are a front line worker so can travel with confidence;
  • There will be a reduced public transport network, so plan ahead;
  • If you are using public transport, be wary of increased risk of exposure and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you are able to.

Are you worried about a UK Lockdown?
Despite the social distancing advice, there is no enforcement from the government to actually do that, and a state-sanctioned ban has not been put in place. The vagueness of the orders have thrown up confusion for a lot of people, especially our Carers and clients.

Countries like Italy and France have already imposed mandatory lockdowns to help protect their populations from Covid-19. In Italy, citizens had to make an application to prove that their planned travel was necessary, and in France, only the most essential trips are allowed to be made. Extra police patrol the streets of cities like Paris, handing out fines of up to €350 (around £330) to those who flout the rules without good reason. In most countries affected by lockdowns, residents are still allowed out to stock up on supplies from grocery stores, or to exercise – at a safe distance from others.

Could a lockdown happen in the UK?
As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise, it’s clear that more dramatic measures may be needed to stem its spread. It is possible that the UK could follow the examples set by its European counterparts and introduce tougher controls.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam – leader of the Health Protection Research Group at Nottingham University – told the BBC: “We are following the science very carefully and consider the measures we announced yesterday have been announced at the right time – not too early and certainly not too late. We don’t rule out taking further measures if these are necessary but much of this depends on how the next two weeks play out.”

Whether any enforced lockdown is applied countrywide, or only to major towns and cities, remains to be seen, but government officials are doing everything they can to reassure the public that life will go on as normal for as long as it can.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said there are currently no plans to shut down bars and restaurants and order people off the streets but that ministers would be guided by the scientific evidence: “We will take the incredibly tough decisions that are sometimes needed in order to ensure the safety of the population. The Prime Minister has at every stage in terms of dealing with this demonstrated that he will provide the leadership that is required in order to deal with some of the most difficult decisions that any prime minister has ever had to deal with in peacetime. But, as the Prime Minister has said, there are certainly no plans to do so at the moment.”

And Downing Street has dismissed suggestions of a travel ban in and around the capital entirely. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “There are no plans to close down the transport network in London and there is zero prospect of any restrictions being placed on travelling in and out of London.”

How long could a lockdown last?
Professor Van-Tam could not rule out the strict measures having to last for a year but predicted they will last at least “several months”. He told Today that more people will encounter the coronavirus and become resistant with so-called herd immunity, but said “that will take time”. “But, yes, you’re absolutely right that we can’t say how long this will need to go on for,” he said.

We will be here to support you, whatever happens and will issue advice whenever you need it.

In the meantime:

  • Keep washing your hands
  • Restrict movement outside the home with and without your client
  • Check in to our social media pages and website for up to the minute news and advice
  • The NHS have allocated us with  fluid repellent face masks. They will be for carers to wear with clients who have been diagnosed with COVID 19 only. We will tell you how these will be distributed.
  • If you are self isolating because you have symptoms of CoVid19 and wish to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you will need to provide your support team contact with a screenshot from your online enquiry  which you can access via https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
  • If you are ‘zero hours’ and have regularly earned £118.00 per week for the previous 8 weeks you will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) at a rate of £94.25 per week, up to a maximum of 28 weeks. This applies to carers who are paid on an ‘employed basis’ (you will receive a payslip with National Insurance and tax deducted)
  • We are trying to restrict the movement on site of all staff. Can you help by avoiding Runnel House from 12-.30-2.30 and by using the carers’ telephone always to locate the person you want to speak to and awaiting their arrival downstairs to see you

We’ll be updating this page with advice, information and tips. So check back often.

Got a question? Call or mail us. Don’t worry. We are here to support you. We will get through this – together.

Green Team

01728 605 048
07800 000230
greensupport@christiescare.com​