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To all Service Users, Families and Colleagues.

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To all Service Users, Families and Colleagues.

Message from the Chair, Ken Brundle.

Ken Brundle

As we are all well aware, the world is experiencing a COVID-19 health crisis of severe proportions. In countries who were impacted at an early stage, the crisis is easing at present. However in Europe, we can expect a surge of infections in the next few weeks.

We at Praxis Care are already being impacted with a number of staff and service users self-isolating. Please be assured that Praxis Care will ensure that the health and safety of our people will be our top priority over the next several months.

Measures have been introduced to ensure we follow best practice advice concerning working from home, hygiene, social distancing, self-isolation etc. We will continue to update these practices as new advice is received.

Andy Mayhew and the Senior Leadership Team are monitoring developments continuously and have put together a series of risk mitigation measures. These include contingencies to cover staff in the most vital services and increased stocks of personal protection equipment. Also, we will ensure the payroll is fully supported. The organisation is in a sound financial position and we will need all our staff to pull together as we manage our way through the current situation.

We have advised against gatherings of groups and all meetings are now being held by video/telephone conference. Andy is also ensuring effective communication during this crisis period.

If you have any concerns or suggestions please feel free to contact myself on +44 (0) 28 97 542936 or Andy Mayhew on +44 (0) 75 5212 7046.

Whilst scientists worldwide are making excellent progress in identifying cures for this new virus, we cannot expect these vaccines and drugs to be available until the end of the year. Therefore we must follow the advice provided and use the tools available to us to stop the spread of infection.

Praxis Care is a strong organisation with exceptional people. Our focus on values and teamwork will see us through these exceptional times. May I, on behalf of the Board, thank all of our team for the work done to date and assure them of Board support in the difficult weeks ahead.

A message from our CEO, Andy Mayhew.

Andy Mayhew

At yesterday evening’s Praxis Care Board meeting, the Board and Senior Leadership Team reviewed the policies and measures being implemented to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our service users and staff during the COVID-19 crisis.

Right across Praxis Care, staff have been demonstrating tremendous flexibility and sacrifice, to ensure services to those most in need  are maintained.

I want express the appreciation of the Senior Leadership Team to everyone in all services and departments who are part of that collective effort, at a time when you all have genuine concerns for yourselves, your families and  friends.

Having met with the Praxis Board to review the organisational COVID-19 response in detail, they share that view and are determined that we provide staff, particularly those on the front line of service provision, with the all the support they needed to continue that effort.

While none of us can accurately predict the scale of what lies ahead, we had plans in place which have now been activated.

The steps we have taken to protect our service users and staff

  1. We set up incident management teams as well as reporting mechanisms, including a live database of staff and service users affected  by COVID-19, overall and by service/department. This helps us see the build-up of pressure on services and direct our attention and resources to where they are most needed.
  2. All our service managers updated contingency plans, including plans for some services to be scaled back or delivered in a different way.
    • The purpose of this is to reduce risk and free up staff to be deployed into the most vital services, supporting the most vulnerable.
    • Those plans have now been actioned and staff have shown enormous understanding and flexibility in regards to re-deployment.
    • There has been a very high level of understanding on the part of service users, families and the statutory sector on the need for changes to service in these circumstances and we are very appreciative of that
  3. Corporate services departments updated their contingency plans, ensuring that the critical functions, such as recruitment, training and payroll will be maintained, while following infection control advice, including home working. Fifty additional laptops were sourced in preparation.
  4. We explored and sourced personal protection equipment (PPE). That equipment has now been distributed across services in all jurisdictions and we have a live database to facilitate tracking of PPE and re-distribution to services as required.
    • Guidance on when and how to use equipment has been circulated and will continue to be reinforced.
  5. We have a number of service users who are self-isolating, in line with official guidance. We are continuing to support them in a way which is appropriate to their needs and circumstances, while taking all practical steps to reduce infection risk.
  6. We also have a number of staff who are following the guidelines for self-isolation. We wish well at this worrying time and are, in collaboration with other provider organisations, pressing for testing to be quickly available for both staff and service users who become symptomatic.
  7. We launched a recruitment drive in all localities, recognising that our need for staff will escalate as the impact of COVID-19 increases. We know there will be people, who are suddenly out of work and are motivated to help support some of the most vulnerable in our communities. We want to provide them and others with that opportunity.
    • The response has been hugely encouraging, with over 350 applications in the first day.
    • We thank everyone for their interest and will provide successful applicants with comprehensive induction, training and support: recognising that, for some, this is an entirely new field.
    • We don’t know exactly what lies ahead. We can be certain that the organisation is in a strong position to withstand the pressures, keep vital service going and , because of the  commitment of our staff, come out the other side of this emergency.

During these times, it’s important that our staff look after their physical and emotional well-being. To view further guidance to support this click here

Statement from Praxis Care Board

The Board greatly appreciates the tremendous  response of staff throughout the organisation to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

We are encouraged by the proactive approach taken by the Leadership Team, specifically on the sourcing and deployment of personal protection equipment and their commitment to maintaining vital services.

It is right that our focus at this time is on supporting our most vulnerable service users. We are currently redeploying staff as required to meet our operational needs while also seeking to recruit and train another 100 people to bolster our capacity. In the 24 hours since we announced these new jobs, over 350 applications have been received.

The Board is clear that will we make available whatever resource is required to chart our way through this unprecedented emergency. We were assured by John McGregor, the Chair of the Finance Committee, that we are in position to meet that challenge.

We were also reassured that the key corporate service functions, including payroll, were and would be operating effectively as part of the organisational team effort. The Board will meet every 3 weeks for the foreseeable future.

Praxis Care is an organisation with tremendous values and an incredible workforce. The Board is in awe of the professionalism and integrity shown by our Staff and will strive to fully support all who are part of the Praxis family.

For further government advice you can refer to the following links:

Northern Ireland

PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY (NI): https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/

Ireland

HSE (ROI): https://www.hse.ie/eng/

Minding your mental health during the coronavirus

www.hse.ie www.hpsc.ie › coronavirus › guidance › vulnerablegroupsguidance

HSE support link:

Minding your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak – HSE.ie

Dedicated Healthcare Worker COVID helpline

1850-450-450

Great Britain

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND (GB): https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

Our Frontline – Mental Health and Wellbeing

An initiative uniting the leading mental health charities to provide round the clock support to those working against COVID-19. To view visit this website

Isle of Man

ISLE OF MAN GOVT: https://covid19.gov.im/

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