I hope everyone is well and I hope you are all keeping safe in this ongoing situation.
You may have heard today the Scottish Government announced a move to Tier 4 for all of the local authority areas we operate in which will take effect from Friday 20th November at 6pm.
This is for a period of three weeks, the leadership team anticipated this may happen at some point and therefore we have discussed what we may need to do should this arise. We have listened to the specific guidance set out by the First Minister today and are currently reviewing support delivery and our risk assessments to ensure we fully comply with what is being asked.
That said, it has also been made clear via the guidance that supports that are deemed essential for wellbeing should continue where possible. Therefore, we need to take a much more individualised approach than we did at the start of this pandemic when we had very little in the way of information on the virus and risk measures required.
We now have much more specific guidance at our disposal and more protection measures therefore we will discuss with people we support and their families what support we can deliver over the next three weeks and how we will do this. If this results in any change to your normal rota/working week then your team leader will discuss with you as soon as possible.
That said, we may not be able to deliver all of our normal supports either for guidance related reasons, or because of practical issues in how and where we can support people. What I would ask is that you are patient with us over the next couple of days while we try to manage the needs of our staff and the people we support and if you have any ideas or suggestions in how we might overcome some of these challenges, as always we would be very keen to hear from you.
You will receive an updated risk assessment from me in the coming days and team leaders will discuss specific issues/changes with those of you they affect however there are some basic changes we will need to implement for all from Friday including:
As we move through the winter it is essential we have adequate contingencies in place. Our aim will always be to ensure that people receive support from their usual staff team however we know that the challenges we face may sometimes mean this is not possible. This might mean that some staff are asked to shadow or receive guidance to allow them to work in a service other than their usual places. This will be kept to a minimum and won’t affect everyone or even the majority however it is important for me to remind everyone that this is part of reasonable work duties and may be implemented on occasion- safely and within guidelines.
In addition to the above, anyone who was previously shielding or deemed to be clinically very vulnerable please discuss with your line manager straight away if you receive updated health guidance from the NHS or your GP/Consultant etc and if you wish to discuss the change in Tiers please contact your line manager or if they are unavailable the duty manager.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to each and everyone of you for helping ensure that those who need our support most and who are most vulnerable, continue to be supported to minimise the impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.
I know that this past 8 months have been a challenge for everyone and for you all working in the community, however we remain committed to ensuring that everything we ask of you is done within guidance and that we minimise risks as much as possible and I appreciate your flexibility and commitment.
I will be in touch again over the coming weeks hopefully with plans for us to move back down each Tier as it is announced.