22 July 2020

An update from our Chief Executive Madeleine to the family of people we support.

It has been a couple of weeks since my last update, and, in some areas there is some progress

Portsmouth Day Opportunities

I’m really pleased to say that we will be opening up Portsmouth Day opportunities to a limited number of people from Monday.  You will already have been contacted if this is the case.  We are really looking forward to welcoming people back into the building. We will continue to provide outreach support and day services on line for those of you not able to return yet.

New Forest Day Opportunities

I am very sorry to say that we don’t yet have an agreed re-start date with the funding authorities for New Forest.  We have submitted detailed risk assessments and plans of how we can open safely but we are now in the hands of the adult social care team.   From our point of view, we are ready to go with a limited number of people being able to return.  When we can, we are looking forward to welcoming people back but at this moment in time I’m afraid I can’t give you a  date.  I know that Vicky and the team have been keeping you posted on this and they will continue to do so.

As with Portsmouth, we will continue with our outreach welfare checks and day services online.

Residential (Minstead Lodge) and Supported Living

National guidance from Public Health England that Care Homes continues to ask care homes not to allow visitors in the building.   We will therefore continue to arrange meetings with families outside as we have been doing.  Once again, because of this we ask that you pre-book any visits so that we can ensure that we are able to support people to socially distance and keep both your son/daughter/brother/sister safe but also the other people we support.  Luckily the weather remains nice!

As we have been doing, iff you wish your son/daughter to visit you at home, we will need assurances that you have taken every precaution possible not to have come into contact with symptoms for the past 14 days and have been following all social distancing guidance.   At this moment in time, we would continue to ask that, unless there are strong reasons to do so, that this was not encouraged.

As before, we have taken the decision to apply the same request to our supported living houses for the reasons I’ve given previously – that people with learning disabilities are a vulnerable group, that they are in shared houses with other individuals and we are also looking to protect our staff.

Keeping people safe

We have detailed procedures in place in all of our settings to try and keep everyone safe.   For those people when you do return to Day Opportunities, you will see staff wearing protective masks and, depending on the activity, gloves and aprons.   We also have new  layouts to help keep people safe.  In all our settings, staff are wearing PPE if they are likely to come within 2m of someone.  We have also made the decision that any visitors into our buildings will also be asked to wear a mask from next week when the government rules on face masks in shops comes into force.

As ever, if you have any questions, please do contact myself, Travis Musslelwhite, the Head of Service (Wendy Gathercole for supported living; Dom Catton for Minstead Lodge Residential; Vicky Nixon for New Forest Day Opportunities and Becky Austin for Portsmouth Day Opportunities).

I do hope that you feel we have been communicating with you as well as we can do during this period.  If there are things that can be improved, please do let us know.

Thank you again for your support and understanding.

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