A personal message to all Domiciliary Care staff from the Chief

Dear Colleague,

I am sure like me you have seen the TV or maybe Facebook reports showing people in our local communities out clapping you and all the other staff in this Trust for everything you are doing. You are making a difference in the lives of service users every day. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for all you are doing.  The work that you do to support individuals to remain independent at home is important, particularly at the present time.

Please never feel your efforts and hard work go unnoticed by me and other members of the Trust Senior Management Team. You are a very special group of workers.

Our commitment to you

As your employer, the Trust is determined to do everything we can to make sure that you are kept safe as you carry-out your daily duties. We ensure that everything you are asked to do takes into account the most up to date guidance from the:

  • Public Health Agency
  • Health and Social Care Board
  • Department of Health and
  • Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

What you can do to remain safe at work

There is no doubt that this is a worrying time for all of us. However, it is important to remember that there are a number of things that you can do to stay safe.

This includes:

  • making sure that you read all the guidance that the Trust makes available to you in relation to working in domiciliary care, particularly in respect of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) advice for all Domiciliary Care Workers in N Ireland. NB: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS GUIDANCE PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL DOMICILIARY CARE OFFICE.
  • carrying-out your duties as instructed by your supervisor
  • when you are entering a home, ask the service user if they have experienced any changes in relation to their health. This includes asking if they have developed a new, persistent cough and/or a high temperature. If they are advising of symptoms, then check with the service user that they are alright, then wash your hands thoroughly, leave the home and discuss immediately with your supervisor.
  • continuing to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water on entering and leaving a home
  • using the gloves and aprons that you have already been supplied with for use when carrying-out personal care and
  • encouraging service users to remember to wash their hands with soap and water often.

I have heard some feedback that some Domiciliary Care Workers may have made or bought their own masks.  Please can I make a plea that you should NOT be wearing any mask that has not been provided or approved by the Trust, as any mask you are wearing needs to comply with a number of very important infection prevention and control requirements.

The Trust is continuing to keep the issue of the need for additional PPE in community settings under review and when guidance is released to advise that masks and other additional PPE should be worn, the Trust will make you aware of this requirement and will provide you with the appropriate PPE.

Finally, can I ask that you take care and remember to spread the message to your family and friends – STAY AT HOME, WASH YOUR HANDS AND KEEP THE 6 FEET (OR 2 METRES) RULE, IF THEY DO HAVE TO GO OUT.

Thank you for all that you are doing to support our service users.

Mr Shane Devlin

Chief Executive