Kate Allen, CEO weekly update 15th May 2020
Incredibly this weekend sees the 2nd month anniversary since the UK took measures to protect its citizens from the Covid-19 coronavirus and as some of the lockdown measures ease this is naturally met with some nervousness. Throughout this period we have all become more familiar with how the virus affects people and how we can protect each other. Our intention is to proceed with caution and continue to follow the Government’s guidance.
In addition to our registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) we are a member of a number of organisations including Association of Real Change (ARC), Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) and the Association of Chief Executives Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO). Through our active membership we have, and utilise, opportunities to feedback and guide the Government on the realities of providing social care to vulnerable people, thereby influencing changes to the Government’s response and actions. Working collectively to share information is our approach to beating this situation.
To date, 7 people we support are thought to have had Covid-19 since the outbreak, with some presenting and recovering from symptoms before testing was available. Currently 1 person we support is recovering at home with suspected Covid-19. There have been no new cases this week.
We have a total of 29 staff absent from work; 27 self-isolating or shielding (no symptoms present), 1 employee unwell from other causes and 1 member of staff with confirmed Covid-19. We know that even when obvious symptoms such as the temperature and cough have passed, the virus can continue to affect people for quite some time; with short reoccurrences of increased temperature returning, coupled with feelings of fatigue and listlessness that can continue for some weeks. It is with this in mind that we must continue to be considerate of those people who have returned to work, but who may still be feeling the after effects, and I ask those employees to be kind to themselves also and ensure they take all the necessary steps, and time, that is needed to recover.
Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week and sees the Mental Health Foundation focusing on Kindness; a theme and value that Autism at Kingwood promotes, encourages and actively supports across every aspect of contact and communication. As this situation has demonstrated, there are so many things in life that we have little control of, but we do have control over how we act and conduct ourselves. We were proud to launch our Kindness at Kingwood campaign last year inviting employees to commit to demonstrate consideration to the people we support, their relatives and each other. However, to be effective it cannot be a one-off event that is forgotten. We should be kind to ourselves and recognise that we won’t always get it right; and that is OK. Recognising when we haven’t been kind is a great step towards changing how we would respond next time. You can choose to be kind to someone. You can choose to be kind to yourself. Why wouldn’t you?
Kate Allen, CEO