The first wave of coronavirus in UK care homes has been unfairly tied to the use of agency staff. In the media’s portrayal, agency workers move to a new place every day, but this simply isn’t true when looking at Florence’s data.
On average, over 80% of our staff work at only one or two locations in any given month.
Following the Adult Social Care Winter Plan 2020/21, we’ve put further safety measures in place to monitor and limit the movement of nurses and carers between homes and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Here are the other steps we’re taking for Covid safety at Florence.
Viewable test results
If a nurse or carer has a negative test result, this is uploaded onto their profile; along with the date of the test result. You can find out more about this here.
Test results look like this on a profile:
If a 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.
We have been monitoring the guidance around weekly testing, and in Scotland it remains a regulatory requirement. We continue to educate all nurses and carers on the importance of weekly testing, and our Florence account managers are here to help should there be any issues.
Transparency of Covid status
We work collaboratively with care homes to find appropriate staff and support them if an outbreak of Covid-19 in the home is identified.
We ask homes to provide an update on the status of their home and share this with staff to avoid any surprises when they arrive.
A home will receive a follow up call from their Florence account manager if they report that they are currently Covid positive.
Information on winter flu
We are educating Florence staff on the importance of getting a flu vaccination.
If a Florence nurse of care is unable to access a flu vaccination, we can provide them with a confirmation letter to take to their local pharmacy. The cost of this will be reimbursed by Florence.
Access to Covid training
We have a Covid-19 training course available to all staff, which includes access to the NHS ‘Donning and Doffing of PPE’ guide.
This training links with our mandatory Infection Prevention and Control training, which all Florence staff must complete in order to book shifts with you. Both courses are CPD accredited and updated whenever legislation or guidance changes.
Preparing for winter
We are running a number of webinars and training sessions throughout winter.
These are accessible for both care homes and staff, and will feature key topics such as infection prevention.
Our uniform policy
We have an Infection Control Policy that explains it is mandatory not to travel to and from work in uniform for infection control reasons.
The policy also advises uniforms should be washed at 60 degrees after each shift.
Florence Block booking and Florence Exclusive
We’re asking all Florence nurses and carers to book shifts with the same home wherever they can, from now on. This is to limit the number of care homes worked at, to stop the potential spread of infection between homes.
Block booking staff through Florence is simple and effective for maintaining safety following coronavirus. Reduce the number of staff in your home and work with nurses you’re familiar with and know have the required skills
You can book nurses and carers for a longer contract (1 month minimum) with Florence Exclusive. The same nurse or carer will work with you for an extended period - so you won’t have to use different agency staff.
Limiting the people at your home will help lower the risk of infection.
We have built a new platform called Staff Smarter. Care homes using Staff Smarter have reduced agency needs by 42% on average so far.
Staff Smarter is free for six months and helps care providers cover rota gaps with their own staff more efficiently.
If you feel more comfortable using your own staff during this time then get in touch with our team on 020 3808 2387 to see how Staff Smarter could work for your care facility.
Here to help
If you have any questions about how we’re helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus, please get in touch with your Florence account manager.