Coronavirus response continues with focus on vulnerable people

Published Thursday, 19th March 2020

Rendering of a virus

Work to tackle the Coronavirus locally continues at pace, with particular focus being placed on helping vulnerable residents and those in care.

  • Social care and homelessness staff are continuing to deliver key services but are reducing face to face contact as per the national guidance. We are also working with our homeless providers and partners to further support rough sleepers at this time. We are looking at creating further capacity in the night shelter for example
  • We are in regular contact with external care providers about their business continuity plans and current working arrangements, so that we can understand their staffing pressures.  The government are relaxing key Care Act legislation which means we can adjust care plans to ensure essential tasks are completed.
  • The NHS have said that they want to clear hospital beds as much as possible to deal with the peak of the pandemic. We are used to working with the hospital at times of increased demand. We are analysing how many external care placements we may need to support this work, and our aim is to support as many people to return home with the level of support they require depending on individual need
  • The availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been highlighted by providers as a potential challenge. The Government has confirmed that fluid repellent facemasks will be delivered to every care home and home care provider by early next week and are working with wholesalers to ensure the long term supply of all PPE
  • We are working hard with the voluntary sector and community groups to establish and develop a Borough wide community response to ensure that those who want to offer mutual aid and volunteer to help vulnerable people can do so in a coordinated and useful way. This may involve staff being re-deployed from other areas to make this happen

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult and social care, says: “As we continue to deal with this global pandemic and its effects locally, it is right that we are focusing on the most vulnerable members of our community.

“Business continuity plans have been enacted across the council, and some venues have been closed.  We are looking at how these staff can be redeployed and used to support the community and voluntary response that will be needed in the days, weeks and months ahead.

“We are also in daily contact with our care providers, Southend Care and our colleagues in the health sector to ensure that we work together to continue providing safe services to the people that need them. Also, please be assured we are trying to get people home from hospital, as soon as we can.

“At this time, I would also like to thank all of our staff working hard in challenging times to continue assisting and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community. It is very much appreciated.”

Please visit our Coronavirus pages for trusted and reliable local information.