UPDATES TO HELP'S HUB-BASED SERVICES
30 April 2020
UNDERSTANDING 'ESSENTIAL SERVICES'
HELP recently conducted a survey of families attending our Hub sites, to understand what they view as “essential supports” during COVID-19.
The survey feedback showed that keeping moving and exercising; doing activities that help participants feel engaged and happy; maintaining routine and social connections are high priority “essential supports”. A number of HELP families indicated they need some form of support with what is essential for them.
Based on the survey findings, HELP is keeping its Hubs open for the delivery of essential support activities, to families who are not able to keep their loved ones at home.
Changes have been implemented to maintain the safest possible environment for our participants and support workers.
The key changes are summarised below:
- All Hub-based activities will be 1:1 ratio only, based on the maximum number of people who can be on a hub site.
- Participants will have the focused attention of their support worker and receive an individualised support program, based on their current goals.
- The day will be split into morning and afternoon sessions, so that more families can access the hub at the 1:1 ratio.
- Hubs will be sanitised between the morning and afternoon session.
HELP is also offering new ways of receiving essential supports for families who would prefer their participants stay at home, or to supplement Hub activities.
Online activities have commenced, facilitated by Hub support workers and equestrian coaches from our McIntyre Centre. The main goal of these activities will be social and community participation.
“Close to home” 1:1 support where a support worker will go to a participants home for an activity such as a walk to the local park for exercise, is also available.
HELP wants to support as many families as possible through this time and we have asked families to consider a flexible approach to their services if possible - and a mix of hub, “close to home” and online activities.
Other measures to protect our participants and support workers
In addition to the changes summarised above, HELP has implemented the following COVID-19 response measures:
- Educating Participants on social distancing measures, and opening up spaces where support is provided to adhere to the 1.5m and 2 persons per 4 square metre rule.
- Suspended activities that may expose Participants to risk that we cannot mitigate e.g. community access activities for our Disability Care Participants except for essential activities like shopping and medical appointments; horse-mounted therapies at the McIntyre Centre due to difficulties of applying social distancing guidelines.
- Promoting handwashing and making hand sanitiser available in all of our communal areas.
- Ensuring cleaning practices and protocols are in line with Queensland Health guidelines and that disinfectant products are available.
- Implementing limits on attendance to achieve social distancing at essential meetings and encouraging working from home and use of phone and video conferencing options.
- Ensuring access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Asking both Participants and Support Workers not to attend our services if they have any respiratory symptoms.
HELP has a Business Continuity Plan in place for all of its operating divisions, detailing the mitigation strategies which have been applied since the commencement of the pandemic.