Covid-19 has and continues to present a significant risk to us all. As a company operating in the social care sector, it is both paramount and fundamental that we ensure the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness are maintained, alongside ensuring all necessary required provisions are put in place for our staff and service users.
Over the past months, we have continued to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and Public Health England closely. As part of this process, we have conducted an assessment of COVID-19 related risks out or in connection with our work environment and have put in place our own stringent procedures to ensure we are able to minimise any existing risk.
One step we have taken is to boost our recruitment efforts, taking on board additional carers to manage an increased demand on our services. As a result, we have successfully been able to cover sickness and isolation with ease, while increasing our capacity to accept patients who have been recently discharged from hospital and will require additional support as part of their recovery. For those individuals who are transitioned from a hospital to a care home, we have been meticulous in ensuring they are self isolated, with care in their rooms for a minimum of 14 days.
We also supply all of our staff with full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and they are provided the opportunity at any time to resupply as they see fit. As a company, we recognised from an early stage the potential for there to be a shortage of PPE due to an increase in global demand and a shortage across supply chains. Building strong relationships with a selection of international suppliers, fortunately we have been able to create our own supply chain, through which we have been able to supply all of our care homes and carers with the PPE they require. Additionally, within our branches and care homes we have installed hygiene stations across the premises, providing hand sanitizer for our employees to use as an extra precautionary step.
Additionally, working with the local authorities we have improved our testing capacity, which has helped to prevent and control outbreaks allowing us to take the right steps at the right time to reduce the spread of the virus and to protect the most vulnerable. Also, working closely with the NHS and coinciding with our limitations in place surrounding care home visits. Eleanor has ensured that all of our care homes now support the NHS Test and Trace, keeping a temporary record of current and previous residents, visitors and staff.
Our team will continue to review all arrangements on a regular basis to ensure they reflect current Government, health organisations and other changing circumstances. We will also continue to consult and work with our employees and other organisations to safeguard all those who work at Eleanor, visit our branches or care homes.
Here a number of control measures which are/ due to be implemented across all of our premises:
- Only essential staff and contractors on Eleanor premises
- Increased frequency of general and surface cleaning in all premises
- Regular handwashing promoted across all areas of the business, handwashing and sanitiser stations also made available.
- All reasonable efforts taken to comply with social distancing guidelines. All staff are proactively encouraged to advise/ remind staff and visitors to maintain a 2m distance. Floor markings and posters present across our business.
- Where practicable we have reconfigured workspaces to assist in social distancing.
- Access into lifts and some toilets restricted to one person at a time.
- Where stairs/ escalators are to be used, we have introduced a number of measures so people can pass safely.
- Physical partitions will be introduced where necessary.
- We have revised our staff catering and welfare facilities to assist with social distancing with all staff encouraged to bring their own crockery and utensils where necessary.
- Additional support to those members of staff who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
- Should there be any instance of a confirmed case of COVID-19, there is an isolation system in place.
Where social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in relation to a particular activity, as part of the risk assessment process, we have considered whether that activity needs to continue for our business to operate. If it does, we will take mitigating actions to reduce the risks of transmission.
All our risk assessments and control measures will remain under constant review, alongside any updates to the Government and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance. Eleanor staff will be provided with regular updates and any necessary training in relation to the control measures to be implemented and we will continue to work with our staff, contractors and customers to find further ways in which we can make improvements to the way we are managing the risks of COVID-19.