Adult social care - Coronavirus update
Adult social care and our providers in Warrington are supporting up to 2,600 vulnerable people in their homes and in care settings every day. The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to the disruption of a number of services and there is likely to be some continued disruption for the foreseeable future.
We are following and reviewing government guidance to ensure we are able to respond to the latest advice. We are working closely with our care providers to ensure they are following infection control guidelines, so they are able to deliver safe care, and that together we can continue to fulfil our duties under the Care Act to provide appropriate services.
The government has introduced new legislation under the Care Act known as “easements”. These can be applied if the workforce is significantly depleted and/or demand on social care has increased to an extent where it is no longer possible to comply with all duties. This has not been necessary in Warrington, and we do not currently plan to apply any easements to our Care Act duties. However, if in the future we do need to take these steps, we will inform you, and keep these changes to the minimum necessary, and for the shortest time required.
Our main priorities at this time are:
- Supporting our most vulnerable people and their carers to stay safe and well in the community
- Working with partners to support timely and safe discharge from hospital, arranging care at home or in an appropriate care setting while longer term planning takes place
- Continuing to support our care providers to deliver quality and safe services and to respond to the risks associated with COVID-19
- Understanding the wider impact of COVID-19 on the safety and wellbeing of individuals and staff and responding accordingly
Care at home
Due to staff shortages and increase in demand, it is highly likely that individual care packages may be affected. This may affect either the frequency, or the timing, of the visits. We are doing everything we can to provide essential visits. Where visits can be covered by family or friends, this will be proposed and families should contact their care providers directly to arrange this.
Where individuals have made their own private care arrangements, or employ personal assistants and have concerns about their future care provision, the same advice applies. Any concerns should be reported through Contact Warrington, please call 01925 443322.
Residential and nursing homes
For individuals in residential or nursing homes, we know there are now restrictions in place for visitors to keep residents as safe and well as possible.
All planned respite care is being reviewed and only critical respite will continue. Please contact your social work team directly if you have any queries. We will do our best to continue supporting carers as much as possible through our carers support services.
We are reviewing day services and are talking with providers on a daily basis. If individuals currently attend day services and it is possible to stay at home with support from family and/or friends, this is advised.
There may be some ongoing provision for a small number of people, but this will be limited to those most vulnerable and without alternative support. If you have any specific queries, please contact your social work team directly.
Supported accommodation providers will be continuing to provide their service, while taking actions necessary to reduce the risk of infection to service users. We will also be discussing with providers the arrangements to support individuals if services are significantly disrupted. All queries should be directed to your social work team directly.
Safe and well service
We have established a ‘safe and well’ service, working with our community partners, to support vulnerable residents who would benefit from wellbeing checks.
These checks include telephone support, offering advice and reassurance to vulnerable people in the community. Where a person is unable to leave their home and has no family, friends, or appropriate support network, we will also ensure people receive essential items, such as food and prescriptions.
During the current COVID-19 outbreak, we would like to reassure you that we are working hard to maintain business continuity and remain committed to safeguarding adults, children and young people in Warrington.
While we are working closely with our care providers and other agencies to minimise disruption to our services, we are also asking for the support of individuals and their families to try to ensure that together, those who are most vulnerable, can receive the care they need and are effectively safeguarded.
Paid opportunities in adult social care
We have urgent need of people willing to train at pace and take up paid employment.
Do you know who needs help and support in your local community?
To report a concern, please call 01925 443322.
As more information emerges, recommendations may change, so keep up to date with the national guidance on the gov.uk website, as this is updated regularly.