Parent and Carer Update – 31.03.20.

Dear All

We wanted to update you as to what has been happening across the organisation in the last week and the decisions that have been made, because of the increased restrictions we are all facing that were announced by the Government last Monday.

Skills Group

Prior to the Government’s announcement on the 23.03.20 we had seen reducing numbers of people attending the service, especially following the news that the schools would close. After the briefing from Boris Johnson on the 23.03.20, we made the decision to suspend Skills Day service from 4pm on the 24.03.20.

We appreciate that this will cause some problems in relation to the service not being available. However, given the new restrictions put into place and significantly reduced numbers of people attending due to decisions made to self-isolate etc, it seemed sensible to suspend the service until the current restrictions are relaxed sufficiently to enable us to safely operate the service.

Localities

We have been working closely with the Local Authority in terms of identifying support hours that they want us to continue to deliver during this period of extended restrictions. This work was completed Friday 27.03.20, across both adults and children and we have been in touch with those people whose support will continue under the current restrictions.

The Local Authority agreed they would inform people of their decisions to put support on hold during this time but it would appear that this has not been done in all cases. We are ensuring that where we know support has been put on hold by the Local Authority that we are double-checking that Carers have been informed of this.

We have also spoken to the Managers of the supported Tenancies regarding the situation and they have made the decision to self-isolate following the Prime Ministers advice on the 23.03.20.

Cheddle Lodge

Cheddle Lodge remains our priority in terms of ensuring adequate resources are available to be allocated to the service as and when required, as this service is delivered 24/7 and we have sole responsibility to ensure the needs of the people living there are met at all times.

This includes ensuring that we have sufficient resource to be able to cover all roles within the service and we have allocated resources to enable us to feel confident that this is possible. Clearly, the situation for all of us is fast changing, but we feel we have made sufficient contingency planning to ensure the safety of the service during this time.

The service remains in self-isolation in terms of only essential personnel going in and out of the building. Visits from family members have been stopped and we are keeping in touch with families regularly, as we know this is an anxious time for them.

Meridian House

Our main office is now essentially closed although over 90% of the staff based there are now working from home, until the current restrictions are relaxed. We have amended our phone message asking that anyone wishing to contact us do this via our on call number and calls will be managed from this number and forwarded to the correct manager to deal with any issues.

Conclusion

We appreciate that this has and continues to be a very unsettling time for everyone and especially so for you as carers and the people you care for. We want to reassure you that we are working very hard to ensure that we are keeping you as informed as we possibly can and putting in place the necessary measures to ensure we have a sustainable offer to you as and when it is safe to resume all service provision.

If you have any queries or concerns about anything to do with our services, then please do not hesitate to contact on call for information and advice – we have provided the number at the end of this communication for you – but equally you can get this number by phoning the Meriden office number and listening to the voicemail message.

We are receiving Information daily from the Government and Statutory agencies with amends being made equally as often. As a result there may be times when we inform you of one thing and then we have to update or amend the information quickly. This is purely because this is a new situation that is unprecedented for all of us, and it is fast moving in terms of the changes that are being made and requested of us.

We will aim to keep in contact with you on a weekly basis with any updates or amends to our services and we have a dedicated information page on our website regarding the organisation during this time. If you feel you need any extra support or help during the next few weeks contact SMBC’s contact centre and/or your named social worker. You can also contact us and we will do our best to liaise with statutory agencies to try and get you the support and help you need. We are in regular contact with statutory agencies sharing information and resources where possible.

Our main priority is to ensure that we are in a position to be able to respond quickly when restrictions are amended/lifted, to enable us to get our services up and running again for you and the people you care for.

With very best wishes to you and your family at this time and hoping you are keeping safe and well.

Senior Leadership team

On Call number – 07976 704535