As part of our effort to help home care agencies to deal with COVID-19, we recently held a live webinar where we chatted with Jenny from Hasbury Home Care Services all about how they are preparing and dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Below, you’ll find a round-up of everything we learned:
How to best support care staff:
Supporting your care staff and keeping them safe is essential during this crisis. Here are some tips that Jenny from Hasbury Home Care Services shared with us during the live webinar:
- Reminding care staff of the steps to take at every visit:
- Wash hands
- Apply PPE
- Complete tasks
- Dispose of PPE in the home
- Wash hands and leave
- Repeat for every visit
- Once home, ensure care staff shower as soon as they are able
- Relaying this information to care staff regularly (either through an app like Birdie) or using channels like WhatsApp.
- With social distancing measures in place, Hasbury Home Care have also been actively updating their clients' care plans to include activities that can be done in the home, instead of going outside, like; adapting social calls to things like cooking, playing cards, painting, do some walking exercises inside, puzzles, reading, etc.
Paying close attention to the mental health and wellbeing of your staff is important right now - with so much uncertainty, small gestures can have a huge impact. Here’s what Hasbury Home Care Services are implementing:
- Setting up a Whatsapp group with all staff members to:
Share good news stories with staff
Send regular messages of appreciation
Much of today’s discussion and the questions raised were around PPE and contamination, i.e. what to use, when to use and how to get it. We’ve collated the Public Health England guidelines around PPE, so you can access everything quickly. Just click the links below to find trusted advice:
- Guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings
- When to use a surgical face mask or FFP3 respirator
- Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for non-aerosol generating procedures
- Guidance for residential care, supported living and home care (what to do in situations of confirmed and unconfirmed cases)
How to best support office staff:
Equally, ensuring your office staff are looked after will play a part in ensuring your business can cope throughout the crisis. Here are some tips from Hasbury Home Care and from us here at Birdie:
- Making sure your office staff are supported to work remotely
- Organising a rota of redirecting calls
- Helping them access your software (like rostering or care management like birdie) from home - so they can reduce excess contact with each other or clients
- Using a software like Birdie will mean that MAR charts, care logs and care plans can be updated and audited remotely and in real-time, which means there's no need to undertake spot checks or make house calls to collect communication sheets.
Some tips and tools we have found useful for managing a remote office at Birdie include:
- Scheduling meetings/daily stand-ups with the team every morning
- Using tools like Pragli and Slack and WhatsApp to communicate with everyone at the same time
- Undertaking at home challenges to encourage staff to get involved and raise morale. We've asked our team to share their best view, their at-home office set up and our favourite is to share photos of our pets.
How best to support your clients and their families
Your clients and families will be understandably concerned during the crisis. It's important to support them with regular communication. Read how Hasbury Home Care are supporting their clients' and families:
- Relaying important information by capturing government legislation, collating it and making it easy to understand, and then passing it on to family members, to ensure they always have the latest guidance and information
- Keeping an eye on stock levels by tracking the supplies of the service users in the home i.e. food, medication, medical supplies (Birdie will be releasing a feature to allow you to track this very soon)
- Implementing regular communication with families to provide clarity on what they’re putting in place, using templates from UKHCA
- Letting families know that you will be making changes to clients' care plans and adapting social calls where possible
How Birdie is helping:
- We’re making some of Birdie’s core features free for three months (or more, if we need to extend due to the ongoing crisis). You can find out more about what we're offering and how you can sign up, here.
- We’re also rolling out bespoke features, built to help manage the COVID-19 crisis. The first is a Viral Symptom Checker - a place for carers to log any symptoms they observe their clients as having. You can find out more, here. We’ll let you know when you can start using this new feature, but we expect it to be released in the next two weeks.
To find out more about how Birdie is contributing during the crisis, head to our dedicated page, here.
“Coronavirus is the greatest public health crisis of our century and older adults are the most vulnerable to it. It is our duty to help, now. The Birdie team is mobilising every possible resource, day and night, to help older adults be safer, healthier and better cared for. We are deploying all possible means to support care providers and the wider care community in dealing with this crisis.
Max Parmentier, CEO and founder