Dementia Matters Statement in Response to COVID-19

                                                                          Update 8th April 2020

Dear All


Day Care was closed last week following several internal and external meetings. This has resulted in a proportion staff being put on furlough. All staff on furlough are entitled to 80% Government support, and as an organisation, we have opted to make up the remaining balance of 20% to ensure staff are on full wages. This will be reviewed on a monthly basis, and those furloughed will be brought back as and when the need of the people we support requires it.

We would like to say a big thank you to all on furlough for the sensible and common-sense approach adopted as, clearly, we have very little choice right now. We look forward to welcoming you all back as soon as possible.
Our offer to use the Bradbury Centre as an emergency centre for the NHS and Council has not yet been taken up, but all agencies have shown their gratitude for the offer.

Residential and respite services continue to run as normal, with one respite bed being used for a vulnerable member of the community on a long-term basis. We are waiting to fill the second respite bed in due course, with Clare, Sophie and the team providing the extra care this will entail.

Home care continues to be busy with some day care staff picking up extra shifts. There is no doubt that demands on home care and home care staff will increase over the next few weeks, so Lindy, Christine and Dawn are working to coordinate the best way of dealing with this increased demand.

The Dementia Advice Centre continues to contact existing and new referrals, with Joe leading the way, ably assisted by Jodie. Naturally, all of this is taking place by telephone and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

In order that we can continue to support our former day care service users, the Council have agreed to pay a sum to keep contact going with the most vulnerable. Clare is coordinating this effort, which includes care support for the most in need, wellbeing checks over the telephone, shopping calls, and support with liaison between other agencies, e.g. social work.

It is testament to the professionalism of all our staff that infections of our clients have remained at zero, and with Covid 19 cases amongst staff also at zero. It is clear that everybody has been following good hygiene practices, using PPE correctly, and being sensible about your own isolation when at home. Thank you to all of you for an exceptional effort to protect yourselves and the people you care for.

I would also like to thank all that took the brave step early on to self-isolate as again; this not only protects yourselves, but the wider community of service users at Dementia Matters.

Whilst these are undoubtedly strange times right now, rest assured that the Senior Team continues to work hard, not only to maintain services and protect our service users, but also to keep the charity going in uncertain times.
The SMT meets at 10am every morning to discuss the days business, and it is our intention to continue to do so until the crisis is over. To support this activity, the Board meets with the SMT every Monday evening at 5pm for a strategic update and discussion of the week’s events. Naturally, once again, this is all done by conference call.

Please do speak up if you need PPE equipment, advice and support, or just a friendly chat with a colleague. Hannah and Georgina are available should you wish to speak to someone confidentially about any concerns.

Keep in touch on the charity Facebook pages, and in particular, let us know of any good news stories during this time. It's always nice to raise a smile when all the news seems to be a bit depressing.

Thanks once again for your fantastic efforts for Dementia Matters and our service users, and thanks for your good humour in difficult times.

Best wishes

Fraser
CEO.

                                                                          Update 18th March 2020

As you will be aware the advice around Covid 19 is changing rapidly, so we felt it would be useful for you to be brought up to date with our services here at Dementia Matters.


The risk in the UK has now been raised to high. Therefore for all of our services, all meetings have been cancelled. There will be no unauthorised access to our building and where access is needed we will follow very strict infection control guidelines. This is to minimise the risk of infection to staff and our services users. The exception to this would be where there is an overriding care need, and this will be decided on a case by case basis.


For Residential care we are no longer allowing family members in to visit their loved ones, except in exceptional circumstances, all children under 12 currently are not allowed within the building. We do have an iPad for use of all our Residents to FaceTime their loved ones during this time. Please contact the centre manager for details of exceptional visits or how to contact their loved ones.
Day Care is currently running as usual, but again, we will not allow anybody in who doesn’t need to be here. Anyone who is dropping off their loved one will be greeted by staff at the door to minimise cross over between services.


Care at Home is business as usual, but we are asking that families support us with handwashing and drying, as supplies of sanitising hand gel are very difficult to source at present. However, should staffing reduce due to self-isolation we have continuity plans in place to input an emergency staffing team and rota to allow those most at risk to access some levels of care.


We have minimised our back office team being in the building and would ask all of our staff and service users to adhere to social distancing when not at work. This will not only protect yourselves but others around you also.


We also reserve the right to refuse entry to anybody who looks ill and would further advise that they contact 111 for guidance immediately.


I’m sure you will work with us to continue to provide much needed care to our most vulnerable users. To that end please advise us immediately if any loved one, family member, or staff member, starts to display any symptoms, i.e. a new persistent cough or a fever.

If you have concerns about COVID-19, or would like further advice and information, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Carers UK have coronavirus advice here:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/health/looking-after-your-health/coronavirus-covid-19

 Age UK information and advice here:
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/coronavirus


 

Statement
13th March 2020

 

The safety of our clients, their families and the staff teams that support them continues to be the priority of all at Dementia Matters, and we understand the growing concern amongst our clients, their families and our staff following the categorisation of the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.

We would like to reassure all who access our services that we are monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis to help manage the risk and spread of the virus and will take every action necessary to guarantee their continued safety.

Measures have been put place to protect those who use our services during the coronavirus pandemic, and we have worked closely with our colleagues to devise contingency plans in the event that the charity is directly impacted by the outbreak.

All Dementia Matters staff undertake comprehensive infection control training, and we have an allocated Infection Control Lead on hand to advise them further. We are working in line with guidance from the Public Health Authorities and World Health Organisation to ensure high standards of hygiene are met. All staff have been advised of the importance of regular, thorough handwashing and the appropriate PPE is provided.

The Dementia Matters management team remain committed to ensuring those who use our services continue to have their needs met, as safely as possible.

If you have concerns about COVID-19, or would like further advice and information, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Carers UK have coronavirus advice here:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/health/looking-after-your-health/coronavirus-covid-19

 Age UK information and advice here:
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/coronavirus