Support us Coronavirus: Our Response Coronavirus Updates for Llamau Colleagues Living and working with Covid-19 Sept 2021 Update Llamau have committed to following these 9 overarching principles in all our decision making: Colleague’s safety and well–being will be paramount. The safety and well-being of those we support will be paramount. Learning from what we’ve done and changing things as we need to. Regular review and updating of guidance and procedures: We are committed to being responsive to new and updated guidance. We will be responsive to any fast changing situations. Llamau will be following guidance from Welsh Government rather than Westminster. Ensuring the views of colleagues and those we support are shaping our practice: We will incorporate individual choice as much as feasibly possible through individual discussion and risk assessment. Making sure everyone has the tools they need in order to fulfil their roles. We are committed to learning the ‘What works well’ lessons from the last 18 months, and to more flexible working using a ‘blended’ approach of face to face and digital (as much as individual job roles and the demands of service delivery will allow). We need to balance individual colleague’s wishes against the need to ensure those we support receive support at times and in ways most effective for them. Vaccinations – Llamau strongly urges all colleagues to be double vaccinated. This is a key way of keeping everybody safe. Moving Forward Llamau are hoping to work towards a more balanced way of working for the future, making the most of the positives we have learned, but addressing the challenges we have all faced. Examples include: Continuing to use virtual / digital tools where possible for meetings. Continuing to use virtual / digital methods to engage the people we support effectively and where these are working for the individual. However for the people who do not engage with these methods, we need to be safely providing more face to face support. Continuing, where possible with the flexibility provided by a mix of home and office / project working. As with all things, this can be subject to change depending on individual performance, and the quality of support being provided. Giving you a balance of the times you feel more productive working from home e.g. report writing / time to focus, and the time you really need to spend with other colleagues – networking, building your collective understanding of the roles of different teams, having others to bounce ideas from, peer support, building well-being and having some social contact etc. The way we use office spaces will be changed away from specific teams working in ‘silos’, and towards a more ‘hot desk’ approach in each area. General Principles for working during Covid-19 Llamau are committed to maintaining our approach to reducing the spread of Covid-19. Please ensure that you follow this guidance. All of the measures are in place to protect you and others. We need to ensure we are able to maintain appropriate physical distancing, lower footfall, continued use of PPE and utilise other risk mitigation measures such as ventilation, cleaning, hand hygiene, testing, compliance with TTP etc. The following will continue to apply; Offices and Projects We will be working with you to limit the level of footfall within offices and projects as much as we can, while making sure you are able to get the support you need, and are able to support people effectively. We will follow Welsh Government guidance balanced against the need to engage everyone we support. We recognise it is easier for some roles to work from home than others, and will try to get a balance with that (i.e. Support Workers covering projects in order for Support Assistants to be able to take young people out at times). We are aware that working from home can help with childcare responsibilities when schools and childcare are not fully operational. We know some of you have struggled with having a safe space to work from, which supports your health & well-being, and protects confidentiality for those you support. As long as we are made aware of your needs, we will work with you individually and as teams to plan office / project time depending on your personal circumstances. We all still need to be aware of risks of COVID transmission across and between projects, offices and any other locations you may visit, and to minimise the risks of this we may implement: A. Protective ‘bubbles’ of colleagues, who we could plan to be in offices / projects together at the same time on a rota basis. B. Asking you to limit moves between locations in one day. We may ask you to prioritise office time for mornings, and visits / appointments for afternoons. C. Having a system of regular cleaning throughout each day e.g. an allocated area of the office / project to clean. Also colleagues will be asked to clean their work station and surrounding area (desk / keyboard / screens / phone / armrests / handrails / light switches / kettles etc), at the start of the day, before leaving for the day, and after breaks. There will be anti-bac cleaner close by for this. D. Carry your own supply of stationary with you for your use (pens / pencils / rulers etc). E. Limit your use of kitchens – they are our smallest spaces, and can only be used by one person at a time. They MUST be cleaned every time they are used, and EVERYONE needs to bring in your own, and wash your own cutlery and crockery immediately after using it in hot water and detergent. Hand sanitizer must be used as soon as you go in, and as you come out – doors to be kept open all the time – clean everything you use / touch. No tea towels or towels will be available, there will be blue paper rolls & cleaning materials. F. Please bring food in for your own use, and if possible keep that in a cool-bag by your work- station until you need it. You will need to bring your own crockery and cutlery with you as you need each day, and need to take it home when you leave. G. NO-ONE will be allowed access to an office / project if they are not expected. You will be asked to wait outside, and colleagues will bring you what you need IF this cannot wait until your next rota’d office time. H. Maximising ventilation whenever you are in an office / room – ensuring windows in each office space being used are open (PLEASE REMEMBER to close again when you finish using that room). With the increase of colleagues in office, we must all remember to close windows and shut their doors after work. I. Wearing masks in communal areas including kitchens, corridors and reception and wearing a mask as you come in and out of the building. J. For offices / rooms big enough to allow more than 1 colleague to work in at a time (maximum to be risk assessed for each room, allowing for 2-metre distancing). When there is more than 1 colleague in a room, all will need to wear face masks. We have a number of colleagues working in partner agency offices, and will have to work in partnership with each of these agencies to individually risk assess those spaces and come to a shared agreement about the use of those spaces. We will keep you updated with progress around these as it happens. This includes a number of Mediation and Advice workers. Vaccinations Llamau strongly urges all colleagues to be double vaccinated. This is a key way of keeping everybody safe. Everyone who is 12 years old and older in Wales are now able to access vaccination appointments for COVID 19. Please support and encourage everyone we support to understand the benefits of being double vaccinated, in terms of the levels of protection it provides against serious illness. Being vaccinated also helps protect your family. Being double vaccinated also gives some exemptions from the need to self-isolate. PPE We are committed to providing the PPE necessary for colleagues to be able to complete their work safely, and in line with official / Welsh Government guidance. As examples: Each colleague who needs to go out for appointments / providing support in person will have their own stock of PPE, to ensure they are able to keep themselves and those supported as safe as possible, including PPE needed for provision of First Aid (if needed). Projects will have ‘First Aid’ response PPE kits pre packed to ensure everything needed for provision of First Aid is in one place, and can just be picked up quickly. Each useable workstation will have anti-bac cleaning materials within easy reach. Offices and Projects will each have a scanning thermometer for checking people when they enter each building. Colleagues with a raised temperature will be advised to self-isolate and access a test, consult our COVID symptoms guidance and speak to their manager about what to do next. For the people we support they should be informed of the need to self-isolate within their room / flat in a project whilst they access a COVID test and wait for the result. Offices have been risk assessed and certain work spaces have been blocked off to prevent use and ensure there is a 2 metre distance between work spaces. Some Local Authorities provide Lateral Flow Tests for colleagues working at projects to complete regularly. In all other areas, you can collect Lateral flow tests from any COVID19 testing centre, or, order them online by post on gov.uk. Please make sure you each have some of these at home / for your use. Annual Leave There is an expectation that people’s annual leave will be taken in a proportional way throughout the year. Foreign Holidays – We recognise at the time of writing these are not recommended from Wales. There is guidance in place for health and social care workers returning from Amber list countries, which is different to that for the general population. Please see Llamau’s Guidance on Self-Isolating- ALERT LEVEL 0 & Foreign Travel Colleague Guidance – September 2021+. Flexible Working Wherever possible we will continue to try to allow flexible working and would like to continue with this longer term. e.g. accounting for childcare responsibilities. We will need to re-visit DSE risk assessments with anyone working from home, including ensuring access to IT, ability to protect confidentiality and balance with needs for people we are supporting. Please complete this assessment and talk with your line manager about any support you may need. All teams & managers must ensure they have a system which allows them to know where colleagues are at all times, particularly at end of day/shift. We do recognise that certain operational and central services roles are not be able to work anywhere other than projects, learning centres and offices. However, we have tried to be as flexible as possible with each team looking at working patterns, rotas and working hours. Your Head of Service will agree these measures with teams and managers. Test, Trace & Protect We will comply with the PHW process. We know this can place added pressure on our ability to staff projects as some colleagues will be advised to self-isolate for 10 days. If you have any of the main symptoms, or feel generally unwell, please book yourself a COVID test and make your manager aware immediately. If you receive a positive test result, please tell your manager immediately. Colleague Risk Assessments All colleagues should have completed a COVID Risk Assessment with your line manager. These should now be reviewed. Please speak with your line manager immediately if you think the risk assessment needs to be updated i.e. that it includes the dates of all COVID vaccinations, or any health related updates which might change your risk score. Your line manager will discuss with you mitigations that can be implemented to support you in your role. Project Cover It is essential that we are able to continue staffing all of the essential services we provide, including the 24 hour staffed projects, to ensure the vulnerable people we support are kept as safe as possible. This may mean we have to ask colleagues to be temporarily re-deployed e.g. to work in a different project. When community transmission rates are high, it is unfortunately inevitable that we will have some positive COVID cases in both colleagues and people we support. When there are positive cases of people living in projects, we still need to maintain staffing at those projects. During this time, we will continue to ensure all possible risk management measures are in place, and ask you to use these rigorously. We have to rely on the individual COVID Colleague Risk Assessments, and discussions you have with your line manager about any concerns or vulnerabilities linked with your personal circumstances and working in projects where there are positive cases of COVID19, so we can respond appropriately. It is expected that colleagues who are highlighted as Very High Risk by the Risk Assessment (those who were previously advised to shield), and those with prior agreement via senior management that they should not work at projects with positive cases, will be notified in advance of their shift if there is a positive case. Appropriate arrangements will then be made to make the necessary alterations. Please remember the impact of last minute refusal to cover a shift. The consequence of this is that other colleagues have a lot of extra work to do in order to try to cover it, including the possibility of the colleague on -call needing to come in. Also refusal to cover a shift, without prior agreement of a need to protect you, could result in follow up / formal action. This is the last thing any of us would like to see happening, but we have to ensure service provision, and fairness for all colleagues. Visitors When cases are rising or are high, we will continue to limit ‘visitors’ to offices and projects as much as possible to those which are essential or urgent. We recognise this is causing some concern for people living in staffed projects. Each project is different, therefore decisions may need to be taken on an individual project level. These will need to be authorised by your Head of Service. Training (internal provision and selling training externally) The majority of training will continue for the foreseeable future online. Face to face training will only be re-introduced when we are confident all measures are in place to ensure safety. Delivery will be prioritised via ZOOM / online platforms in small modules. Volunteers The same principles and guidance apply to volunteers as apply to colleagues. Student Placements Llamau continue to be guided by each university regarding student placements. All placement students will need to adhere to Llamau procedures. Please be patient and understanding with each other, everyone has different levels of anxiety and sensitivity about COVID-19. Colleagues who have had no choice but to work from projects and offices throughout the last 18 months have come to see certain measures as being in place to protect them, and it is be important that we all feel. Please support each other and above all, be KIND always. 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