24 June, 2020 – Heatwave Advice

24 June, 2020 – Are you prepared for a heatwave?

A heatwave can significantly affect the health of older and more vulnerable people. Exposure to high temperatures can cause heat cramps, heat rash, swollen legs and ankles, fainting, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and even death.

There are approximately 2000 heat-related deaths per year in the UK. The main causes are exacerbation of respiratory and cardiovascular illness.

The current Covid-19 pandemic further complicates matters this year. Those you care for are at higher risk of indoor overheating as a result of lockdown restrictions, self-isolating and shielding. And there is reduced access to cooler public spaces.

Covid-19 must not prevent us from taking steps to tackle the additional risks our clients face during the hot weather. Do your bit to reduce the risk for your clients and yourself by:

1. Taking steps to keep houses cool – close the curtains during the day and open windows at night
2. Ensuring hydration – drink plenty and encourage your clients to do the same
3. Know how to recognise the symptoms of heat related illness and how and when to get help
4. Do not use fans where a member of the household has confirmed or suspected Covid-19
5. Avoid strenuous physical activity outside when it is hot
6. Proactively check on your clients – make sure they know how to keep cool and support them to get help where it’s needed
7. Keep an eye on the weather forecast – know when the heat waves are coming and act early

For more information go to:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891887/Beat-the-Heat_Leaflet_Coping_with_heat_and_COVID-19.pdf
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888249/Heat_flier_Residents_2020.pdf
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888668/Heatwave_plan_for_England_2020.pdf

12 June, 2020 – Important notice: mandatory face coverings

From Monday 15th June 2020 you are reminded that face coverings are required to be worn on public transport. The links below provide further information and guidance around the difference between face masks and coverings, how to make and wear a cloth face covering and wearing masks safely between domiciliary care visits. Please do take a look and make sure you understand what is required of you.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-coverings-to-become-mandatory-on-public-transport

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-domiciliary-care

10th June, 2020 – Taking care of your emotional well-being

The current situation with COVID-19, isolation and physical distancing may be bringing up a lot of different feelings for you and your family. You may be feeling scared, worried, sad, angry, stressed, confused, or many other emotions. This is normal. As well as looking after your physical health, it is important that you look after your mental health and well-being at this time. The Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust has put together some tips and resources that can help you to do this.

Stay connected: Physical distancing doesn’t need to mean being socially distant. There are many unique ways to connect with your loved ones and your community. Find online versions of the things that are important to you – exercise groups, games, book groups, and choirs. There are also many apps available that can connect groups of people in a shared virtual space so you can socialise or even have a friends and family ‘dinner’.

Develop a routine: Decide on what routine will work for you and those around you, and write it down. This may include work or education, taking your medication, meals and exercise, as well as keeping up with the important things that make you, you – whatever they may be. It can be helpful to include opportunities that give you a sense of achievement, connect you to others, and that you enjoy.

Continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle: Keep trying to follow a lifestyle that maximises your health. A balanced diet, good sleep hygiene and regular exercise are all important. Be mindful of slipping into unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Limit news and information: While it is important to stay informed of what is happening, too much information can make you feel more stressed, worried and agitated. It is important to ensure you are accessing reputable sources, for example gov.uk, Health Protection Scotland, Public Health Wales. Consider allowing yourself just an hour or two each day (not too close to bedtime) to catch up on the news. It can also be helpful to think about how you talk to your children about the situation (please see resources below).

Seek professional support (if needed): As well as talking to trusted family members and friends there are professional resources available. There are some online resources available below. If you are worried about your own emotional health, or that of a loved one, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123, talk to your GP, contact your local psychology service or, in an emergency, attend A&E.

Head over to MiHomecare’s Workplace platform to find links to a range of online support resources for adults, young people and children.

22 May, 2020 – People will never forget how you made them feel
a message from Jonathan Vellacott, Executive Chairman

Dear All

It continues to amaze me how the attitude and dedication of each one of you has enabled us to operate our service without interruption, and ensure that our clients remain safe and well cared for in their homes during the last 9 weeks. The importance of what we do and how we go about our daily tasks has never been more in the spotlight, highlighting the vital part we play within the spectrum of Health and Social Care.

It is a credit to all of you that we have managed to provide continuous care with only a small amount of manageable disruption. The continued support of all your families to enable you to perform your work has been impressive and I also extend my personal thanks to them.

We now move into a ‘new normal’ way of working. An increased need to use personal protective equipment, wearing face masks, enhanced protocols around cleanliness and hand washing, not working in the office, social distancing…these are all part of our new normal and we expect many of these new ways of working to continue over the coming months. I am personally incredibly grateful that, in spite of all these different pressures, you continue to make a positive difference to each one of our customers, who, like you, have also had to adjust their lives to the new normal.

The African American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou said:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

I write this message with the confidence that whatever your role, your selfless, thoughtful approach is leaving a lasting impression on both our customers and on your fellow workers.

Thank you!

Jonathan

22 May, 2020 – Covid-19 Testing Update

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; and now also a loss of, or change to your normal sense of smell or taste (known as anosmia) can now book a Covid-19 test. Anosmia has now been confirmed as an official symptom of Covid-19 by all 4 UK Chief Medical Officers. The government has announced this expansion to testing eligibility ahead of the planned roll-out of their Test and Trace service.

Anyone with the following symptoms should self-isolate immediately:
A new, continuous cough;
A high temperature, or;
A loss of, or change to their normal sense of smell or taste

All members of the symptomatic person’s household must also self-isolate according to current guidelines, unless individual receives a negative test result.

MiHomecare Testing
Every MiHomecare branch has now been given access to testing (either at regional or mobile test centres, or via home testing) for any staff member displaying symptoms of Covid-19, including anosmia.

If you have any of the new symptoms (as above) before Test and Trace test becomes available, you can use the previous link we have sent through https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers to book and register. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call 119 in England and Wales. If you would like some support in arranging a test and locating a regional test centre, or requesting a home test please contact your branch team who will be happy to assist.

Test and Trace
We have been in discussion with Public Health England and, as a large care provider, we hope to be part of the government’s initial Test and Trace roll-out which will identify whether or not you have Covid-19 at the time you are tested. It is important to note that is NOT an antibody test (these are not yet available) to identify with you have previously had Covid-19.

12 May, 2020 – Urgent Instruction: Public Transport

From this week the use of public transport may increase with more people potentially going back to work. It is imperative that wherever possible you utilise alternative transport arrangements. In London, the Santander bicycles are still free to use for all Care Workers; and the roads should remain a little quieter for those that do drive or have access to a car.

Your safety and well-being is paramount and therefore if you do need to use public transport before, during or after your care visits, please make sure you have sufficient PPE/masks that you are able to wear whilst travelling. Also ensure that you continue to follow infection control guidelines throughout, including the procedure for putting on, taking off and disposing of PPE; and washing clothing and uniform worn during each day on its own and at a high temperature. Please continue to ensure that hands are washed before and after each care visit for at least 20 seconds.

11 May 2020 – Free Data for Carers!

Vodafone UK are now offering 6 months free unlimited data to all Care Workers! To take advantage of their offer, go to: keepconnected.vodafone.co.uk by 6th June to register. Their way of offering ‘just a little help to say a big thank you!’.

30 April 2020 – Search for a Hero Inside Yourselves
A message from Ian Hadingham, Operations Director

I was listening to this M-People song from the mid 90’s earlier this week and I thought it reflected the way in which you have all approached the current situation that we find ourselves in.
As we come to an end of week 6 and day 38 of lockdown, you continue to face new challenges daily – on the way to and from work and care visits; and while you work as you continually adapt to new and ever-changing guidelines in order for you to remain protected and as safe as possible in very difficult circumstances.

Despite all of this, you continue to provide such brilliant care and support to the most vulnerable people within your communities and where you are “living-in” and, remarkably, to do so with a smile, which in turn keeps a smile on the faces of those that you are looking after so well. I am truly amazed and humbled by the care and support that you all provide every day. Tonight (and every day after) I will applaud you with pride and admiration for all that you do.

Thank you to you all and please continue to look after each other and remain safe,

Ian

30 April 2020 – A Letter of Thanks to Kent Staff from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent and the Chairman of Kent County Council

28 April 2020 – Coronavirus Testing Available for Essential Workers

As part of the Coronavirus National Testing Programme, the government and NHS have now launched a new self-referral portal for essential workers. This means that, as essential workers, you will be able to register and book a test for yourself and/or members of your household (adults and children) if you or they have coronavirus symptoms. The person being tested should be in the first 3 days of the onset of coronavirus symptoms at the time the test is taken. Testing will be done either via an appointment at a regional testing site or via a test delivered to your home.

To find out more and to register go to:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

28 April 2020 – A Minute’s Silence Today at 11am

At 11am today, 28th April 2020, MiHomecare will be participating in a minute’s silence to honour and pay our respects to all those key workers who have courageously continued to serve their country during the current pandemic and have tragically lost their lives to Covid-19. Please join us.

24 March 2020 – To all staff in Wales…practical PPE guidance from University Hospital Wales

PPE practice and guidance with attendance from clinical specialists from University Hospital Wales – Infection Prevention and Control Department.

24 April 2020 – Mental Health Support for Frontline and Critical Workers

Leading mental health organisations have come together to provide, for the first time, a single service to support the millions of key workers who form our frontline against COVID-19. Together, they are providing a round-the-clock service to be there for key workers, whenever and wherever they need support with their mental health and emotional well-being. By combining their services they are able to offer practical, non-judgemental support with problems ranging from feeling overwhelmed or stressed through to coping with the bereavement of a colleague or family member.

Find out more about this support here:

About Our Frontline

23 April 2020 – Dig Deep!
A message from Julianne Baker, CFO

Dear All,

Before the clap tonight (which last week involved fireworks in my town), I thought I would reach out again with my own personal applause to everyone working so hard across our companies and to welcome the massive number of new staff who have joined us recently. I have seen some great examples of team work and I love looking at our Facebook page and watching the videos and photos of all our teams going above and beyond!

Some of you may have read Charlie Macksey’s “The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse”. Jessica (my daughter) and I have been reading it over the last few weeks. There are so many messages in it that are pertinent to the times we find ourselves in, below is one I think we all feel.

Everyone has worked extremely hard this far, and it feels like our changed way of life is becoming more ‘normal’. Our job is to support the NHS and get people out of hospital and home as quickly as possible. Some of these people leaving hospital may have, or have had, COVID-19. We now need to ask everyone to dig even deeper and in the words of the horse, ‘be less scared together’ by supporting these new customers and thinking outside the box about how we can do this. I am so proud of our businesses, and of each one of you, and I want all our external partners to know we continue to support new customers.

We have always known what amazing jobs you do. In the last few weeks we have finally seen a significant shift in the governments perception, highlighting the amazing work you do to the whole country with messages coming from Matt Hancock, the Queen and Prince Charles! I look forward to wearing my CARE badge when we are all out again.

Please take care.

Julianne

23 April 2020 – Our Service Users are with us all the way!

We continue to be on the receiving end of some tremendous acts of kindness from the communities we serve. So many people, including those we care for, are keen to help us in any way they can.

A very special lady from our fulfilled lives service in Carmarthen asked her MiHomecare key worker if she could do anything to help with keeping our care staff safe. Eunice Atkins is a seamstress and has always loved making and designing clothes. With the help of her key worker Cath Williams she has now made 20 face masks which have been distributed to our community staff. Thank you so much Eunice, your support means so much to us all, you are a star!

22 April 2020 – Face shields for Thanet

Self-employed Thanet resident Phil Hathaway has found himself without work during the Covid-19 pandemic and has redirected his time, energy and resources into producing reusable anti-droplet face shields to donate to key workers across Thanet. As of the 20th April, Phil had managed to produce an astonishing 1,600 visor headbands, all of which he has donated completely free of charge.

Martina Graham (of our Business Development team) spotted Phil’s Facebook page and contacted him to ask if he would consider donating to MiHomecare as well as local hospitals and health care providers. Phil was very happy to oblige and donated 75 face shields to our Ramsgate-based office.

We are eternally grateful both to Phil, and all those who have donated to his crowdfunding page to help pay for the raw materials. Another fantastic example of community spirit in the face of this crisis. We really are all in it together!

22 April 2020 – MiHomecare Cambridgeshire’s DJ Jonny goes live on Facebook!

Back in March, our Cambridgeshire Registered Manager Jonny Short was looking for new and fun ways to keep connected with his teams and to deliver messages of support to our carers and service users.

He said ‘I’m humbled to be among some really great people who have carried on even when they have been scared for themselves and their own families. The world is a serious place right now, my job sometimes is to add some balance and light relief to their day.’

And so, DJ Jonny was born and DJ hour aired via Mihomecare Cambridgeshire’s Facebook page, achieving a staggering 1.4k views and some fantastic feedback.

It’s very much worth a watch!

DJ Jonny Short

Posted by Mihomecare Cambridgeshire on Monday, 30 March 2020

21 April 2020 – Swansea and Carmarthen do TikTok!

Despite the pressure we know each one of you is under right now, we see evidence of your resilience, determination and camaraderie in action every single day. It’s inspiring and it’s humbling.

The link below will take you to our company Facebook page. Take a look at this fantastic video put together by our Swansea and Carmarthen teams providing that their team spirit and sense of fun is alive and kicking in the face of adversity!

Roll Call!!

We LOVE this brilliant video from our Carmarthen and Swansea teams. Your dedication, determination and sense of fun is shining bright! We are so proud of you all. #WereStillHere #MiHomecare #SocialCareHeroes #Covid19 #MiHomecareFamily

Posted by MiHomecare Limited on Tuesday, 21 April 2020

If you and your teams have photos or videos you would like to share please send them to claire.johnson@mihomecare.com. Let’s keep the better news and light relief flowing!

15 April 2020 – ‘Extremely vulnerable’ explained

No doubt you will have heard regular references in the news around those considered to be ‘extremely vulnerable’ when it comes to Covid-19.

It is important that each of us understands what is meant by ‘extremely vulnerable’ so we can ensure that the appropriate PPE is used when delivering care in a household that includes someone in this group, whether that person is the person we care for or someone they live with. The graphic below has been put together to help you:

The PPE required for delivering every visit in a household that includes an extremely vulnerable person but where there is NOT a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 is:

 Single use disposable gloves
 Single use disposable plastic aprons
 Single use surgical masks

People who fall into the extremely vulnerable category should have received a letter from the NHS confirming this. If you are in any doubt about the vulnerability of a person you care for or a member of their household, please speak to your Care Co-ordinator for advice.

16 April 2020 – Hosptial Discharge for Home Care

15 April 2020 – ‘Extremely Vulnerable’ Explained

No doubt you will have heard regular references in the news around those considered to be ‘extremely vulnerable’ when it comes to Covid-19.

It is important that each of us understands what is meant by ‘extremely vulnerable’ so we can ensure that the appropriate PPE is used when delivering care in a household that includes someone in this group, whether that person is the person we care for or someone they live with. The graphic below has been put together to help you:

The PPE required for delivering every visit in a household that includes an extremely vulnerable person but where there is NOT a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 is:

 Single use disposable gloves
 Single use disposable plastic aprons
 Single use surgical masks

People who fall into the extremely vulnerable category should have received a letter from the NHS confirming this. If you are in any doubt about the vulnerability of a person you care for or a member of their household, please speak to your Care Co-ordinator for advice.

14 March 2020 – A message from Ian Hadingham, Operations Director

I would like to thank you all for your tremendous efforts over the Easter weekend. I am delighted that across the four days we had over 1,000 of you out working, putting your service users first to deliver 22,500 care visits to those in most need. This is in fact, despite the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in, more visits than the Easter weekend last year which is amazing!!

In response to our #WereStillHere Facebook campaign, we have seen lots of “selfies” making their way onto our MiHomecare page. We would love to see more pictures of you at work and see every branch represented so do please continue to send your selfies to your Branch Managers so that we can post them and let everyone know what an outstanding job you are all doing.

Our sincere thanks to you all and keep up the great work – you are all #SocialCareHeroes,

Ian

13 April 2020 – A letter from the Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services

13 April 2020 – An Easter thank you from Jonathan Vellacott, Executive Chairman

6 weeks ago none of us could have foreseen how different things would be today. In addition to each of us and our families having to deal with the pressures of lock down, our critical jobs as health and care providers are a vital part of the frontline strategy for fighting coronavirus.

Your response to these new pressures has been breath taking!

Every day I see many examples of you and your colleagues in Complete Care, MiHomecare, Noble Live-in Care and the Care Agency going above and beyond, helping others in ways that far exceed what is normally expected. Your selfless acts make us tremendously proud of you, and of the collective significant difference we are making to those we support, to their families and to the NHS. Please accept my sincere thanks for everything you are doing.

My thanks also goes to all of your families for their great support during this pandemic. I know they too are dealing with new and different challenges and anxieties as you work tirelessly to provide care and support in these unprecedented circumstances. I understand their concerns – my family is facing these challenges too. My daughter Georgia is a final year Medical Student in Leeds. On Monday she was studying for her final exams, on Tuesday she was fast tracked and passed her Medical Studies, on Wednesday she became a Doctor, on Thursday her official Medical registration came through and tomorrow she returns to Leeds Hospital to work on the frontline in critical care as a junior doctor!

Although this is an extremely difficult time for us all, through the extra efforts each one of you is making, I am confident in our ability to really contribute towards fighting Covid-19. Thank you once again for your ongoing hard work and dedication. It really is making a positive difference!

Keep safe

Jonathan

10 April 2020 – Marks and Spencer says thank you!

Retail giant Marks and Spencer is saying thank you to carers, NHS staff and emergency workers this weekend. In recognition for your incredible work and dedication, if you are shopping in a Marks and Spencer food store today, Friday 10th October, Marks and Spencer will gift you a free Percy Pig Easter egg when you go to pay. To claim your egg, show your ID badge at the till. Please note, this offer is not available in Marks and Spencer franchises or petrol stations.

7 April 2020 – A message of thanks from Cllr Ben Coleman to our Hammersmith and Fulham team

7 April 2020 – Public Health England’s PPE Guidance for Suspected and Confirmed Covid-19 Cases

Please note that this guidance relates ONLY to the PPE you should wear if you are delivering care and support to a person with suspected or confirmed Covid-19.

7 April 2020 – Putting on and removing PPE safely

Take a look at the short videos below to make sure you are clear on how to put on, remove and dispose of your PPE safely.

3 April 2020 – Not All Superheroes Wear Capes!
A message from Ian Hadingham, Operations Director

We have a crucial role to play in the fight against Covid-19 – keeping the more vulnerable members of our communities safe and reassured in their own homes; and supporting people to be discharged from hospital to free up much-needed beds and resources. Your support and expertise is needed like never before.

Thanks to the huge number of you and your colleagues who continue to provide superb care and support every day from morning until night, we have been able to complete over 55,000 care and support visits this week. That’s an incredible achievement in the current climate! We continue to applaud and appreciate each and every one of you daily for your ongoing dedication and commitment – we are all eternally grateful.

As the pandemic continues, the number of Care Workers and volunteers needed to support our clients in the community has exploded. This week, we are delighted to welcome 80+ new frontline staff to MiHomecare. Thank you to each of you for joining us at this crucial time. You will make an enormous difference to your local communities and to you MiHomecare colleagues.

To all of you and your families please stay safe and THANK YOU,

Ian

3 April 2020 – Free Parking and Santander Cycle Rides for London Adult Social Care Workers

From this week, those working in home care are able to park for free at any Transport for London (TfL) car park. Critical workers are encouraged to display supporting evidence in their windscreen, such as photocopies of their work pass with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence from their employer.

TfL is also offering home care workers free access to the Santander Cycles scheme in London. They will cover the cost of a 24-hour access period every day, with each access period including all journeys under 30 minutes for free – no matter how many journeys are taken. For more information, and instructions on how to redeem this offer, email providerengagement@cqc.org.uk.

1 April 2020 – Telephone Calls

As you can imagine, all of our branches are experiencing high volumes of calls due to the Coronavirus crisis (Covid-19).

So that we are able to answer as many of the calls made to our branch telephone numbers as possible, please only call the branch number if your call is urgent or in an emergency. For all other calls, please consider calling your Field Care Supervisor on their work mobile in the first instance to help free up the branch telephone number.

Many thanks for your ongoing support.

1 April 2020 – Sources of Essential Support

In such uncertain times, know where to go for extra support…

30 March 2020 – An amazing response!
A message from Jonathan Vellacott, Executive Chairman

I want to add my personal and sincere thanks to each of you for your tireless efforts as we
continue the fight against Coronavirus. You have put your clients’ needs first, and have
gone the extra mile to ensure that more people are able to remain at home with the vital care
that you provide. We have some really difficult weeks ahead, but I am grateful for the way
each of you is responding, realising that what we do each day can make a critical difference.

It is now clear that the Government rightfully values our social care work as of equal
importance to the NHS. Our role is to provide great care at home, ease pressure on the NHS,
and therefore help more people to get the urgent care they need in order to come through this.

Please take a few minutes to read the letter to all of you (below) from Matt Hancock, the
Health and Social Care minister. I share his sentiments entirely.

Keep up the essential work you’re doing each day, and keep safe.

Kind regards

Jonathan

27 March 2020 – Clapping, rainbows and thank you!
A message from Julianne Baker, CFO

Dear All,

I wanted to check in with you at the end of another crazy week. I am
totally humbled by how our teams have pulled together and continue to
operate at such high standards in very uncertain times.

In what is a rare occurrence for me(!)…I have found myself speechless
at many times in the last two weeks. 8pm last night was one of those times,
my family and I clapped to say thank you to everyone of you. There are a
lot of different positive messages being shared on social media about the
rainbows springing up in many windows. The one that resonates the most to me
is that we are all in this together; because we very much are.

Thank you to everyone who is working so very hard for our customers and to
support our operational teams.

Please keep safe.

Julianne

27 March 2020 – Help us grow our teams at this critical time via:

MiHomecare’s Refer a Friend Scheme

Do you know someone who would be an asset to our team?

Please refer them to us and earn £500 for every successful referral you make.

Previous experience is not required – full training will be provided.

If the person you refer is employed, you will receive a payment of £500 and they
will receive a payment of £200 in the next payment run following their successful
completion of 3 months’ service.

To make a referral, please email your friend’s name, email address and CV
(if you have it) to Recruitment@mihomecare.com.
 
Scheme date 16/03/2020

26 March 2020 – PPE Guidance

26 March 2020 – Health and Social Care PPE Guidance

25 March 2020 – Care Worker Guidance for Care Visits