Helping Hands Coronavirus Policy
This page has been most recently updated on 26 May 2020.
At Helping Hands, we want to ensure that all our employees and customers remain as safe as is possible during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak and to do so, we are introducing some company-wide protocols and procedures. These will be updated frequently as the pandemic spreads.
From this point, we would ask all employees to observe the following policy at all times, whether you are at work or not. If we all do so, all of the time, we have the very best chance of not catching the infection ourselves and also not spreading the infection to our customers. Additionally, we have created a Ways of Working Policy for specific instances when a customer or carer is showing symptoms of coronavirus.
This virus is most contagious when the first symptoms show and for two or three days afterwards, so it’s important that you follow this policy and NHS guidelines in order to protect ourselves and our customers.
Views our Ways of Working Policy View our Coronavirus FAQs
Although people of all ages can get coronavirus, those of us who are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease are at higher risk of becoming severely ill if we contract the infection. Since these categories will include many of our customers, please ensure you follow this policy fully.
If you experience any of the below symptoms, you will need to stay at home for 7 days. If you live with someone who shows these symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in your home starting having symptoms:
- A high temperature – This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- A new, continuous cough – This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or experiencing 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- A loss or change to sense of taste or smell – This means that your taste and/or smell has changed or gone completely.
- Wash your hands and wrists following the instructions we have provided and also shown in this friendly two-minute video. Do so frequently, as often as you judge as reasonable, but certainly it must be the first thing you do every time you visit a customer and the last thing you do when you leave.
- Please stop shaking hands with anyone, anywhere, whether at work or not.
- Avoid hugging and kissing anyone apart from your immediate family. Why not do an elbow touch or air high-five instead?
- Do not share cups or water bottles.
- Please take your temperature at the start and end of each day.
- Do not share cutlery or crockery without thorough cleaning first.
- Do not share food and drink which may have come into contact with other individuals first.
- Clean the rim of beverage cans/bottles before decanting.
- Please, always and without exception, wear new disposable gloves and a plastic apron every time you visit a customer. Doing this is perhaps the biggest single thing we can all do apart from hand washing to reduce the risk of infection. Also, don’t forget to bag and bin all used Protective Equipment.
- Please wash your uniform every day. This again will reduce the chance of cross infection. If you do not wear a uniform, wear clothing that can be easily and frequently washed.
- Please refrain from touching your face, nose and eyes as far as is reasonably practical. Why not try and have a competition with your family and friends to see who can do this for five minutes?
- Clean working surfaces as frequently as possible with the correct anti-bacterial solutions, especially in areas with a high general use.
- Refrain from using other peoples’ telephones and ensure that you clean your own phone(s) frequently.
- Clean keyboards frequently, especially if hot desking. Try to use your own equipment if possible.
- At the point of entry and exit to any building and anywhere else that many people will have touched surfaces, please wash your hands. If no hand washing facilities are accessible, use hand sanitiser if available but it must be noted that this is not as good as hand washing.
- Switch off, if possible, or do not sit directly under, air conditioning units.
- Unless absolutely necessary, don’t meet in large groups. What about using Skype, FaceTime or similar options instead?
Let’s and stay safe and look after each other.
With best wishes,
Andy Hogarth, Helping Hands CEO