In light of the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of a new national lockdown on the 5th of November, we want to remind our Florence nurses and carers what this means for you.
As social care staff, your work is considered to be essential and you are still able to pick up Florence shifts as normal. However, it is important that you follow the below guidelines, and check the GOV.UK website regularly for any updates.
Travelling to and from shifts
As essential key workers whose work cannot be done from home, you are allowed to travel to and from your shifts as usual. Wherever possible we encourage you to walk or cycle, but some of you may have to use public transport. If this is the case, continue to follow safer travel guidelines. This includes ensuring social distancing measures (think hands, face, space motto), wearing a mask, and making sure that you wash your hands for at least twenty seconds before touching anything else (especially your own eyes or mouth). If it is not possible to wash your hands, then use hand sanitizer.
You must not travel if you any of the following apply to you:
- You are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, such as a new continuous cough, a temperature, or a loss of smell or taste.
- You are self-isolating as a result of sharing a household or support bubble with anyone who has experienced symptoms or confirmed Covid-19 infection.
- You’ve been notified by the NHS track and trace team that you should self-isolate.
- You fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable category.
Please remember not to travel in your uniform - take a clean uniform with you to change into and change again before you leave the shift. Uniforms must be laundered at 60 degrees or as hot as the material can stand.
As Florence workers, most of your work will be done in a residential setting and with members of the public who might fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable category. Therefore it is advisable that you follow the appropriate Public Health England guidelines for this context. This includes:
- Single use, disposable gloves
- Single use, disposable plastic apron
- Sessional use, fluid-resistant (type IIR) mask or;
- Single use surgical mask when dealing with clinically extremely vulnerable patients
Single use refers to disposal of PPE or decontamination of reusable items e.g. eye protection or respirator, after each patient and/or following completion of a procedure, task, or session.
All appropriate PPE should be provided by the home you are working at.
In June the government rolled out regular testing for all care home residents and staff in England. This is meant to include weekly testing for staff. Check with the home you are working at to see if they are registered for this scheme, and if you will need to take a test before beginning your shift or at any point during work. You will likely be given a kit to self-administer the throat and nose swab. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions and return the sample promptly. Results will be available within 24 to 48 hours via the NHS.
Our policy is all nurses and carers using Florence must take a weekly coronavirus test. Dated results are available for care homes to view on staff profiles. If a Florence nurse or carers’ test results are positive, they are automatically blocked from booking shifts and are followed up on a regular basis until they are able to return to work.
Block booking and Exclusive contracts with Florence
To limit the number of care homes worked at and therefore stop the spread of infection between homes, we’re asking all Florence nurses and carers to book shifts with the same home wherever possible.
Block booking staff through Florence is simple to do and can help reduce the number of staff movement between homes, while ensuring continuity of care. Care providers can book nurses and carers for a longer contract (minimum of one month) using Florence Exclusive.
Here to help
Our team will continue to regularly review and update you on new guidance, policy or developments in the industry, and our fortnightly newsletters will contain all the latest guidance you need.
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