We mustn’t let our guard down now

As lockdown eases here, there is a feeling of uncertainty and a sense of not knowing what’s going to happen next. One thing is certain, the coronavirus hasn’t gone away. Now is the time for taking greater precautions than ever, writes Kairos director Mossie Lyons

Kairos has done well but let’s stay alert. Managers need to remind teams, residents and programme participants of the basics (hand washing, social distancing, hygiene, isolation requirements). This is more vital now than ever.

Managers, please keep alert and help raise levels of awareness. Please be careful of false information – for guidance, go to sharechecklist.gov.uk.

I know some residents find it difficult not being able to have visitors but, because we are homes of multiple occupancy, we cannot allow visitors at the moment.

People who have to visit, e.g. plumbers, electricians, the maintenance team, have all been contacted by head office and asked to wear a mask and sanitise their hands on entry to your house. If we know an exact time a workman is visiting a house, we will remind them prior to the visit. Hand sanitiser dispensers are located inside the door of each house. 

People coming back from holiday in Spain must isolate for 14 days (this may change). I advise anybody returning from abroad to have a test if you are displaying symptoms. Testing is available through this link. People with symptoms now must isolate for 10 days (instead of a week).

Care managers are beginning to place clients with Bethwin Road’s residential rehab programme again, so it is important to let everyone know that the team has arranged an isolation facility, if needed. There is also a strict policy of testing if a person shows any symptoms. Bethwin Road is following Government and Public Health England (PHE) guidelines. Staff are patiently waiting for a acurate antibody test to become available.

Linden Grove abstinence-support hostel is full. Please be aware that visits to Linden Grove are not allowed at the moment. All the basic precautions are in place.

The Garden Day Programme is continuing at the moment via Zoom and phone. Some one-to-one assessments are being conducted face to face. Management is in negotiation with Southwark Council to secure a large meeting room where group sessions could ideally recommence mid-August. The rebuilding of 66 Nunhead Lane started on Monday (27 July).

Aftercare currently has eight clients on the programme, which is operating along Government and PHE guidelines.

The supported housing Move-on team will be back to full strength on Monday 3 August. Most members of the team are now visiting their houses which are by and large full. After a period of stability, unfortunately, there have been some relapses this week. The safety of residents is a priority and Kairos will not jeopardise or compromise on this basic right for residents in any house. So, if you decide to relapse, there could be dire consequences for you. Please talk to your support worker if you are struggling. Random testing (breathalysing and urine testing) will continue.

Maintenance of houses has been problematic over the past few months. The good news is that the Maintenance team is back to full strength from Monday 3 August. Please will all support workers, in dialogue with residents, provide a list of essential maintenance needs/requirements in your houses.

A final word: at this uncertain time, don’t take chances.