Coronavirus/Covid19

The overall objectives of the approach to planning and preparing for a COVID-19 outbreak/pandemic are to:
minimise the potential health impacts of a future COVID-19 outbreak/pandemic by:
supporting international efforts to detect its emergence, and early assessment of the virus by sharing scientific information
promoting individual responsibility and action to reduce the spread of infection through good hygiene practices and uptake of seasonal COVID-19 vaccination in high-risk groups
ensuring the health and social care systems are ready to provide treatment and support for the large numbers likely to suffer from COVID-19 or its complications whilst maintaining other essential care

minimise the potential impact of a outbreak /pandemic on society and the economy by:
supporting the continuity of essential services, including the supply of medicines, and protect critical national infrastructure as far as possible
supporting the continuation of everyday activities as far as practicable
upholding the rule of law and the democratic process
preparing to cope with the possibility of significant numbers of additional deaths
promoting a return to normality and the restoration of disrupted services at the earliest opportunity

instill and maintain trust and confidence by ensuring that health and other professionals, the public and the media are engaged and well informed in advance of and throughout the pandemic period and that health and other professionals receive information and guidance in a timely way so they can respond to the public appropriately

Home-Start Wakefield Specific Guidance
All staff, volunteers and families should follow guidance provided by the NHS, staff and volunteers should be vigilant and support families not to take unnecessary risks which may lead to exposure.
All staff and volunteers to follow NHS current guidance on Covid -19,and to support and encourage families to default to this guidance.

Home Visiting
Any member of staff suffering from symptoms of COVID-19 must refrain from home visiting.
When coughing or sneezing, a tissue must be used and immediately disposed of into a bin. Hand sanitizer should be used or hands washed immediately.
Surfaces should be wiped regularly with an antibacterial solution or Dettol wipe, including keyboards and mouse.
Any Staff member who is subject to isolation, can where possible work from home offering support and guidance to volunteers/families by telephone.

Family Group
Any staff member, family member or group volunteer presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked not to attend the group until the symptoms have subsided.
When coughing or sneezing a tissue must be used and immediately disposed of into a bin. Hand sanitizer should be used or hands washed immediately.
Surfaces should be wiped regularly with an antibacterial solution or Dettol wipe, including keyboards and mouse.
In the event of attendance all toys/equipment that the individual has been in contact with will be washed with an antibacterial solutions.
In the event that an attendee has contracted the virus, all attendees will be informed and encouraged to follow NHS guidance for people who have been in contact.

Volunteering
Any volunteer suffering from symptoms of COVID-19 must refrain from home visiting, but can offer the family support over the telephone where possible.
Volunteers suffering from symptoms must not attend training sessions.
Any volunteer presenting at a training session with symptoms will be asked to leave to prevent spread of infection.
Any volunteer visiting a family home where occupants have symptoms, should decline entry and facilitate telephone support until isolation period has passed.

Staffing
In the event that a staff member is in isolation, the option to work from home offering telephone & email support would be offered. If this is not possible then other team members will continue to support their case load utilising the experience of active volunteers, under guidance from the manager.
In the event that the manager is in isolation unable to work from home, the senior worker would manage the scheme with support from a designated trustee.

Premises
In the event of a full team infection, the office would be closed, deep cleaned and staff would only return to work on recommendation of their GP that the infection had subsided.
Volunteers have access to staff mobile numbers for support and the scheme would endeavor to retain front line services to families.

Please Note:
Government and NHS guidance will override this policy and staff and volunteers will be given guidance, in a timely manner as the situation changes.