Coronavirus COVID-19: Guidance for Volunteers and Staff Tradespeople
18 March 2020
At Care and Repair Edinburgh we are acutely aware of events around the world relating to the coronavirus strain COVID-19 and the pace at which advice is changing. We are also aware that we have a significant number of volunteers and a smaller number of staff who are entering into older people’s homes and are looking for guidance on any actions they should take to amend their normal procedure due to COVID-19.
The latest advice from the NHS and Government is that everyone should adopt social distancing and that you should remain at home if you have any symptoms of the virus. A free NHS helpline has been set up for people who do not have symptoms but are looking for general advice: 0800 028 2816. You can get online advice at www.nhsinform.scot
If you are aged 70 and over the advice is to adopt social distancing whether you have underlying health conditions or not.
If you are under 70 but have an underlying health condition that means your immune system may be compromised, then you should also take measures to socially distance yourself to minimise your risk.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing means doing your best to avoid close contact with other people. If you are around other people you should try and keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from them.
If you are over 70, or younger and with an underlying health condition, it is important that you follow the steps below as closely as you can:
- Avoid people who have symptoms of the virus, and if you live with someone with symptoms to isolate yourself from them as much as you can
- Try not to use public transport (more detail below)
- Avoid social venues where you are likely to be in close proximity to lots of people
- Avoid meeting up in person with friends and family. This will be a particularly tough time for grandparents, as children can carry the virus without displaying any symptoms. It is very important that you keep in touch with your family over the phone or through online video calls, but you should not see them in person.
Those in employment have been advised to work from home, where possible.
Social distancing will be an unusual experience for everyone and requires a change of behaviour in how we lead our daily lives.
Impact for Care and Repair
In light of this advice we have decided to suspend our Handyperson service for non-emergency work. Where a job is assessed as an emergency we will see whether we have volunteers prepared to undertake jobs and if we do, we will allocate jobs on that basis. Our phone staff will need to make the assessment as to whether a job can be classified as an emergency and will need to make some finely balanced calls taking into account the job and the demeanour of the client.
We are currently applying to Edinburgh Council for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which we will provide to volunteers who do decide to do emergency jobs.
When we receive calls for non-emergency jobs we will explain the situation and ask the client if they would like us to put them on a waiting list for when we are able to reinstate the service. We have created a waiting list in our systems so we can get back in touch to see if the job still needs done.
Please note we are still fitting key safes to enable people to get out of hospital, but are not entering the client’s home.
Support for Older and Disabled People
We will also be directing people to Age Scotland’s helpline (0800 12 44 222) where they can get advice on a range of issues or just call for a chat.
Thank you for volunteering with Care and Repair and we hope to reinstate the service as soon as possible.
If you have particular concerns not covered above or simply want to discuss the issue, please get in touch.