At the start of the pandemic, we set up our Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce; made up of Wokingham Borough Council employees who work closely with our external partners across the healthcare sector.
Since then, the team have been providing vital support to our care homes and their residents across the Wokingham Borough, ensuring they stay as safe as possible.
From daily calls to share information and assist with any issues and concerns; to supporting with risk assessments, problem solving and testing; the dedicated team is there to assess the needs of each care home and act swiftly to put support in place when needed.
In November, the team were faced with a huge task to navigate; a significant outbreak of Covid-19 at Shinfield View care home.
We wanted to share some of the feedback we received about their efforts, to celebrate the work of our Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce during what was truly a challenging time.
At the beginning of December, Amanda Tanner, General Manager at Shinfield View, wrote to us to express her gratitude for the support we provided both during and following the outbreak.
Amanda said: “I cannot fault their quick action, clear guidance, and the abundance of support we have received, bringing together, in my opinion all the necessary persons to consult and discuss quickly and efficiently, and best advise myself and my service.”
Once the news of the outbreak emerged, the team needed to act fast. A multi-disciplinary meeting was set-up on the same day, which pulled together employees across public health, NHS staff, social care, the care home, the Integrated Care Home Service, infection control and the CCG, to organise help.
That weekend, the home was filled with support; both medically for the residents; but also, in terms of staffing to ensure they were able to maintain services safely.
At Wokingham Borough Council we always strive to go above and beyond; and this has been no different during the pandemic.
Understandably, the outbreak quickly started to take its toll on staff members’ wellbeing, so our teams went above and beyond to provide emotional support. Amanda praised their “supportive and helpful approach, never a culture of blame or shame”.
A real team effort
Our reaction to the Shinfield View outbreak was truly a team effort. Amanda commented how our team members were always phoning to check in, cheer her up, and offer useful advice. They even worked tirelessly over the weekend to assist her and her team and organise additional staffing.
She said: “I cannot thank them enough for their help and support, and expertise, and I strongly attribute our managing through this situation to them. I believe had they not been involved so early on the loss of life could have been much higher than it currently stands.”
We are immensely proud of the work that our Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce has been doing to support our most vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic. The work of the task force has been expanded to provide support to all Adult Social Care providers, not just care homes..
We are currently expanding our Lateral Flow Testing pilot, providing critical workers with access to regular rapid tests, if they are not already receiving them through the national scheme. This will help to identify workers who are showing no symptoms (called ‘asymptomatic’), but are infected and infectious, and could be spreading the virus unknowingly.
In addition to this, we are supporting the NHS with the rollout of the vaccine across Wokingham Borough, and within our care homes. This includes providing FAQ sheets, posters and short videos to encourage take-up amongst staff members in care homes, as well as offering advice on, and support with, the vaccination programme for care home residents.
If you have any questions about the work of our team, please email the taskforce directly: ASCovid19Taskforce@wokingham.gov.uk