A letter for our clients

In case you missed the email we sent to you...

Dear SweetTree Clients and family members,

We sincerely hope that you remain well in the continuing difficult time for everyone.

Given everything that is happening at the moment we felt it was important to keep you up to date with all we are doing in response to the evolving challenges caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic and to this end appreciate your time in reading the below.

We have remained in constant touch with all our teams and kept them up to date with regular advice, guidance and offered support wherever we can. We recognise however that it has been harder for Barry and I to remain in as regular contact with you as we would like but I am reassured by the thought that your case managers and our office team have been in touch with you by phone.

As the current situation has developed, the team at SweetTree have constantly been reviewing how we do things in line with best practice and government advice. Clearly our overall aim is to provide all of our clients with continuity of safe, high quality care in line with what has become known as ‘The SweetTree Way’.

Recent Public Health England guidelines have introduced changes to the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Initially PPE such as masks, aprons and eye protection were only to be used if a client had symptoms of COVID-19. Last week the advice escalated to masks, gloves & aprons to be worn by all team members that support those who came under a specific vulnerability criterion (e.g. those with an immune deficiency or cancer). This week the Government’s PPE guidelines have changed again, and our support workers are now being asked to wear PPE to every visit, unless the support worker is able to remain at least 2 meters away from the client at all times. It is evident to us that most care and support cannot be provided from a distance and therefore it is likely that moving forward, your support worker will be wearing PPE in your home at all times. We have not been given guidance to how long this will remain the case, but we will try to keep you informed of all changes as we hear of them. I am in touch with Public Health England on a very regular basis.

For your reference, we have hired cars and employed drivers to take support workers to and from shifts where this is necessary. These cars and drivers are also used to deliver PPE to your homes for our Support Worker’s use. We have also continued to send SweetTree team members the latest information on COVID-19 and the precautions they should be taking. If you are interested in reading this, please feel free to ask them to show you what information we have sent out. Additionally we have also built a Rapid Response Team to support anyone who has symptoms or has a confirmed case of COVID-19 – we have found this has been the best way to respond to the needs of those coming out of hospital who need support where they may not have needed this before.

Other changes that we have made have included transforming our SweetTree Training Academy to ‘virtual classroom’ based learning, alongside using many other digital platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. We are extraordinarily proud of both our support worker teams and office teams in how they have responded the needs of our clients and each other, so that we can continue to provide you with our services. For your reference we do have several team members who are self-isolating either due to themselves having symptoms or family members that they live with having symptoms or that they are shielding. Everyone has been very cautious and ensuring that they report any symptoms immediately to the office to keep both themselves and our client’s safe. We hope that widespread key worker testing will be available very soon as we have been lobbying the authorities for this.

We of course will continue to follow the official guidance given, with additional SweetTree measures as appropriate. Please be assured our overall objective will always be to continue provide you and all of our clients with the highest quality care and support possible whilst also keeping you and each of our support workers safe during these challenging times. I hope, as I am sure everyone does, that we will be soon looking back on this situation as something in the past.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07732 499400 or nicki.bones@sweetree.co.uk if I can help in any way.

Kindest Regards

Nicki Bones

SweetTree Home Care Services

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