COVID-19 or Coronavirus, has been at the centre of our conversations over recent days, weeks and months. We recognise these are unsettling times, but we hope you’ll take some comfort in the knowledge that the senior management team and your line managers have been busy planning to ensure that our hospice community is safe and informed as the situation develops. The current circumstances show us how interdependent we are on each other. There are steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our work colleagues and in turn those at home, safe.
We know there’s a lot of information circulating out there, but it’s important to highlight that some of it is misinformed and can cause unnecessary panic and anxiety. For this reason, we advise you take a proactive approach to finding the answers to any questions you may have by only reviewing information from trusted sources. The NHS Inform website has excellent information and resources available. The content is updated regularly so please go here if you have any questions or just want to find out more.
Our senior management team will continue to send updates to all teams so please check your emails regularly. There is also information regarding COVID-19 on the Quality Improvement Noticeboards in the CTR on both wards.
Infection Control is crucial in keeping us all safe. It is really important that we think about Infection Control in all our roles:
- The Government's COVID-19 Infection Control Guide contains in depth advice for healthcare workers
- For our clinical teams- please take time to review these quick guides and accompanying videos from the Government on how to put on personal protective equipment / (video) and remove personal protective equipment safely / (video).
- For all our staff, the official Government/NHS handwashing guidance video is here - this is crucial in controlling the spread of infection so please take the time to watch it. Please also remember to look after your skin and apply moisturiser too. There are trigger posters in the hospice to remind you. At home you don’t have these trigger points but remember hand hygiene at home is also vital in stopping the spread of infection
- Please ensure that you are up to date with Infection control Learnpro modules
- Please ensure that cleaning schedules are located in all areas and that these are adhered to at all times. This is a time to think about tasks we do during the day and night. Priority needs to be given as always to patient care and infection control. Be wise and wipe
- Please pay particular attention to equipment- ensuring equipment is cleaned between patient use. This also applies to equipment that is transferred between staff- dect phones, staplers etc. All staff need to ensure that the computer keyboard and mouse is cleaned before and after use and that mobile phones are also cleaned. And don’t forget about desk phones too
- Ensure any used tissues are disposed of and hand washing and gel are used.
- Do not share food that is at risk of contamination. We all love a chocolate or a sweet- but please ensure that these are wrapped and that there are no bags of communal treats that are not wrapped. This could be a potential risk of passing on infection.
We are currently following advice of limiting groups to a maximum of 5. Think about this in your day to day working. Avoid crowded rooms like the CTR. Use Wyse devices in the corridor areas- this will also mean you are closer to the patients that need your help and support.
Be an ambassador for good practice and challenge where you see practice that does not meet the required standards. Sometimes we do things unconsciously – we don’t realise it. We do need to rely on our colleagues to point this out if it occurs. It is sometimes difficult to challenge but you must for the safety for patients, families and staff. And ultimately for your loved ones at home. We are asking everyone to stop and think about infection control.
We are lucky to have a team of exceptional people. There are a huge amount of staff whose roles require them to attend the Hospice to work including doctors, nurses, AHPs, admin staff, domestics, catering staff, reception staff and our stewards. Without your dedication and commitment to coming to work we would be unable to keep the Hospice open.
If you have questions please speak to your line manager, Richard or any of the Infection Control champions.