We want to reassure our customers and carers that we are doing everything we can to keep you as safe as possible during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Where do you need care?
The health of our customers and carers is of utmost importance during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
You may already receive some sort of care at home, or if your loved one has just been discharged from hospital, they may need some extra support for a few weeks. During the pandemic, they may need help with some practical tasks and also value some companionship, which will give you the peace of mind knowing that they are not alone. We realise how difficult self-isolation can be for the elderly or those with dementia, who are confused by this new way of life. Whatever support you need, we’re here to help.
It is fundamental that our carers follow infection control and prevention techniques, whilst supporting those who need care as best they can. These procedures will be adhered to whether they are at work or at home. If we all do this, we will minimise the chances of catching the infection, and therefore not spread the infection to our customers.
Government and NHS guidelines are being updated regularly, so it is important to follow the NHS guidelines in order to protect one another.
If you are apprehensive about receiving care at home, contact our friendly team to discuss your care needs and the options available to you.
TrustonTap can continue to provide essential care.
We want to ensure that all customers and carers remain as safe as is possible during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and to do so, we have introduced some company-wide protocols and procedures across a number of areas. This includes guidance on what to do if a Carer or Care recipient is showing symptoms of COVID-19, help for carers needing COVID-19 testing and highlighting the importance as well as helping customers with contingency planning.
In addition, we have strengthened communications to Carers and Customers, we have adapted our procedures for recruitment and training of carers to be in line with government recommendations for social distancing, introduced a COVID-19 module to our training and we have made improvements to our platform to make it easier for Health and Social care professionals in Local Authorities and the NHS to find and book available carers.
“Lottie and the TrustonTap team are always so supportive. The improvements to booking and assessing availability are a huge help. The emails with information about Covid and where to find support was also much appreciated.”
SE, Stratton Audley in Oxfordshire 17/4/20
What protocols is TrustonTap adopting to reduce the chance of infection?
Our carers are following current advice from the Government, NHS and Care Quality Commission (CQC), and we encourage them to be vigilant in observing best practice in infection control and hygiene. We regularly reemphasise the following to our carers about Handwashing, Social Distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
This should be observed on arrival at a client’s house and on departure.
Soap kills and removes the virus and other infectious agents (washing for a minimum of 20 seconds).
Most effective method for preventing spread.
Alcohol gel (>60%) can also be used –must let it dry.
Social distancing –2 metres
Prevents coughs/sneezes from reaching others
Certain care visits can be conducted with the carer observing social distancing.
The majority of visits require contact between carer and care recipient and appropriate PPE must be worn
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
We are supporting our carers by ensuring they are informed of any changes in Government guidance on PPE and doing our utmost to make sure they have adequate stocks of Single-use Plastic aprons, fluid-resistant Surgical Masks (FRSM- IIR type) and Gloves. Reusable face shields or goggles should be used where they deem them necessary
We have adapted our guidelines for when carers meet a new client (or attend to a client they have not seen recently): carers should establish in advance whether care recipients are in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ group and whether they have any Covid-19 symptoms. This will allow them to determine the appropriate PPE to wear on arrival. If in doubt, they should maintain 2-metre social distancing while they gather more information.
Carers should be disposing of masks, aprons and gloves after each client. Single-use PPE should not be re-worn.
Cloth or homemade facemasks are not currently recommended.
Double bagging for the disposal of PPE should only be required for suspected/confirmed COVID cases. TrustonTap carers should change clothes immediately on arrival home – remove all re-useable coveralls, clothes etc., bag up and wash at 60 degrees.
If carers are supporting clients all day, they should follow guidance for care homes regarding sessional use of face masks. If possible, a ‘break out area’ should be identified where they can take breaks and be without their PPE. They should rehydrate regularly in between usage.
Do TrustonTap carers have access to sufficient PPE?
Acquiring appropriate PPE is now becoming easier for those providing care and support in the community. Availability and pricing of core PPE items is changing on a daily basis.
The TrustonTap team are staying in touch with the best routes of supply and are supporting carers with information on suppliers who have PPE stocks.
How is TrustonTap helping Customers with Contingency Planning?
We all need to be prepared for the possibility that carers could become unwell and need to self-isolate. If this happens, we will always do our best to find another suitable carer, but during the crisis we may need to look at alternative options.
It is therefore important that all customers have a contingency plan in place and we have advised customers and carers to think about an Emergency Plan that could be put into place, should their carer be off for any length of time at short notice. The Emergency Plan template can be downloaded from their Customer Care Portal.
Is TrustonTap working with Local Government and NHS?
TrustonTap is trying to work as closely as possible with Local Government and NHS in both Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, as well as drawing guidance and resources from Public Health England (PHE), the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), Skills for Care and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We are also working with local care provider trade associations.
TrustonTap systems have been refined to ensure that there is greater transparency of TrustonTap carer capacity to local planners and care coordinators in different locations throughout the region.
Following a request from Buckinghamshire County Council, we have accelerated changes to the TrustonTap platform to shorten the time it takes to find an appropriate carer and get them booked. It is now possible to match a client with the right carer in a matter of hours rather than days, which enables significantly faster discharge from hospitals.
How our team can provide support.
TrustonTap has had to temporarily shut the Chalgrove office and all Head Office employees are working from home. However, due to the use of technology, this is not impacting on the way we carry out our day to day tasks and we can continue to respond quickly and efficiently to both customer and carer enquiries.
All phone calls going through to TrustonTap Head office number (01865951350 or Freefone 08082781112) are diverted to the relevant team.
All employees have secure access to emails and are corresponding as normal with Customers and Carers.
Full functionality of the TrustonTap platform has been retained and the server has been strengthened to cope with additional Customers and Carers
Out of hours emails and voicemails are being monitored closely during the evenings and weekends. Customers and Carers are contacted out of hours to ensure that our support is seamless. In an emergency, anyone can contact William Cotton on 07711 420153
What extra communication is TrustonTap giving to Customers and Carers?
We are sending out weekly updates to both customers and carers which summarise current guidance and address any arising issues.
In addition to this regular communication, we have created a new Coronavirus section on both Customer and Carer Portals
Guidance on the portals now includes over 20 articles, links and videos to assist Customers and Carers with information about best practice, contingency planning, PPE and infection control.
Have TrustonTap recruitment procedures changed?
We only list competent, trustworthy, reliable, compassionate carers on our platform
We ask c.180 questions via online questionnaires and telephone interviews
We check Identity, training certificates, DBS & take 2 references
We have always conducted a thorough Induction online or in-person for all TapTeam carers. While social distancing is in place, all Inductions are conducted by video conference
Historically, we have taken on <5% of carer applicants. Whilst there has been increased interest from applicants since the Covid-19 crisis began, there is currently no change to the proportion of applicants that have been accepted as TrustonTap carers as we will not compromise on the standards of care delivered. Although they are all self-employed care professionals, we encourage them to comply with the TrustonTap Code of Conduct for any TrustonTap services they supply.
We have public liability insurance with £5m coverage. In addition, most of our TapTeam carers have their own personal liability insurance. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have encouraged more carers to take up their own insurance.
How have TrustonTap Training procedures changed?
We require that our carers regularly refresh their training in Moving and Handling, Safeguarding and First Aid. Historically, these refresher training courses took place in our offices, but we had to suspend these face-to-face courses at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We have now developed a 4- hour online Zoom webinar for our carers that includes all the existing syllabus but also has an additional 1- hour module on Coronavirus and Infection Control. This is led by an experienced and qualified trainer and is attended and supported by TrustonTap staff. These interactive sessions have been well received by carers and are being rolled out in the coming months to bring all carers up to speed.