Providers of social care services are living a nightmare in dealing with the impact of COVID -19 (Coronavirus), on their services. They are being bombarded with a plethora of information from U Gov; ACAS; CQC DOH and local authorities to name but a few.
The dissemination of so much information is a task in itself. Central to ensuring that services are taking account of the information provided to them is to have in place a contingency plan that address the issues of operating a service during the pandemic. I found that a recent search of the internet revealed very little information on COVID-19 contingency planning.
Here at Bettal our customers have made a number of requests asking us to develop a contingency plan for them and during the past week the Bettal Team have worked hard to produce a plan (template checklist) that will help and support our customers.
Content of the contingency plan
The plan is designed to be practical and take account of the activities and tasks carried out by management in the running of a care service. It contains a checklist of the areas that should be addressed during the pandemic including:
Work activities; working arrangements; assessing staff risk; care planning; record keeping; staff communication; staff training; preventative measures; use of technology, isolation and partnership working.
This is only a small sample of what is contained in the plan which contains 20 sections.
Using the contingency plan
The COVID-19 Coronavirus contingency plan is a template that is designed to enable managers to check to ensure they have in place the means of meeting the advice they have been given to address the challenges of COVID -19 (Coronavirus). The plan requires providers to:
Identify The provider should review the contents of the plan and identify those issues that are relevant to their service.
Check The provider should check to see that they have in place for example: up to date service users and staff records, emergency contact numbers and up to date care plans. There should be in place an electronic means for communicating with staff should the need arise. Service users should have access to skype, e-mails and social media.
Assess The provider should carry out a risk assessment of all relevant areas relating to the spread of the virus. Ensuring the service is following government guidance on the prevention and spread of COVID-19, and staff have been trained to follow the requirements.
Action Where the provider finds that they do not comply with issues raised in the contingency plan they should carry out an urgent plan of action to address them.
Availability of Bettal COVID-19 Contingency Plan
The purpose of the Bettal contingency plan is to ease the burden on managers and staff by providing them with a tool for checking that they have taken into account the advice they have received to deal with the pandemic.
The Bettal contingency plan is a small contribution that we are making to overstretched social care services and is available to anyone who visits our website at no charge. It can be viewed and downloaded here.
The Bettal Contingency Plan is designed to ease the burden on managers and staff at a critical time for providers of social care services. It is primarily a template that contains a checklist of the advice and information that providers have been given to deal with COVID -19 (Coronavirus).
It is not a panacea but provides some reassurance for providers in knowing that by checking what means they have in place to meet the challenges of the pandemic and taking urgent action to address any shortfall. This in turn will prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of service users and staff.
Take care all of you you’re doing a great job in the most difficult of circumstances.
Albert Cook Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy