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COVID-19 Services Update

Published on 14 April 2020 12:27 PM


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Update 13th May 2020 - Cricumstances are changing quickly and our services are now being updated regulalry in an 'at a glance' table format.  Please Click HERE


Coronavirus COVID 19 - UPATE 14th April 2020

Please see important updates to our services below

Melanie Wicklen, Chief Executive comments as follows:

"As you are aware, the number of cases of Coronavirus (COVID 19) continues to rise and the government and the NHS continue to issue guidance.

First and foremost, we have a duty of care to our staff, volunteers, and service users. We must manage our service delivery as efficiently as possible in a situation where much is out of our control. Safety is paramount in these challenging times and we have therefore implemented a number of measures to help reduce the risk of infection including the provision of anti-bacterial hand gel, face masks, protective aprons, shoe covers, additional procedures and safety advice, such as hand washing and distancing, as well as signposting people to government websites.  Additionally staff office presence is very, very limited, with most now being home based.

We have a robust Business Continuity Plan in place. The plan is designed to ensure we minimise the risk to the health and wellbeing of older people, staff and volunteers whilst ensuring we continue to support and provide services for older people. The individual service changes outlined below are based on steps within our Plan and the prevailing medical advice from Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England.  Staff and volunteers are supported through a number of channels, including an Employee Assistance Programme and regular wellbeing checks.

We will continue to follow government advice given and apply this in a practical way to our own services. 

As reassurance to our stakeholders we wish to share the following information with you, highlighting the services across the charity. Each service has its’ own specific continuity plan to cover most recent events. In summary they are as follows (in alphabetical order of the service):

Cambridgeshire Handyperson Service and Home Checks (Peterborough)

  • Non- essential work suspended
  • Priority to support the Hospital Discharge service ie with bed moves, fitting grab rails and key safes.
  • Where possible telephone assessments taking place and triaged.

Community Wardens and Community Support at Home Services

  • Home visits reduced to shopping and prescription delivery
  • Daily welfare contact calls being made.

Day Services

  • All Day Services currently suspended
  • Service users receiving regular keep in touch calls.

Friendship Clubs

  • All clubs now suspended
  • Volunteer club leaders are being supported and kept informed of developments.

Girton Older Residents Co-ordinator

  • Home visits and all planned activities suspended.

Homes Service  

  • Services have been suspended for general housework.

Hospital Discharge Support Service (A new 6 months contract for professional referrals only) 

  • Commencing on 1st April 2020 to support the NHS this service is an extension of the successful Winter Pressures (hospital discharge support) Service
  • Patients receive support for up to three weeks post discharge
  • Staff and volunteers support patient welfare on discharge, installation of safety equipment such as key safes, provision of food, liaison with third parties and daily welfare checks.

Information and Advice 

  • We significantly increased capacity to take Helpline calls and during the summer Helpline opening hours were increased.
  • *From 1st October 2020 the Helpline hours are 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday. Calls will be answered until 8pm by the national Helpline 7 days a week.
  • Community Resource information document produced and updated regularly giving details of local support available – also available on our website
  • All talks and presentations suspended for the duration and will resume when we are better placed to deliver a risk free service.

Sharing Time

  • All home visiting contact has been stopped. Volunteers continue contact by telephone where possible.
  • New referrals and introductions are suspended.

Shopping Service (Extended support from other services during outbreak)

  • We have identified service users who are a priority, these being service users who do not have next of kin or family/friends or a more local support group nearby to support them. 

 Visiting Support Service for Older People

  • Essential visits are carried out on a case by case basis
  • Regular telephone welfare checks to VSSOP service users are being made. 
  • All community hubs have been suspended.


For service users of currently suspended provisions, needs assessments have been offered to ensure the relevant support can be put in place – it is vital that regular contact continues to take place.

Due to the number of changes made to service delivery, staff and volunteers have been re-deployed to priority areas, where possible, and we are very grateful for the levels of flexibility shown.

I will continue to monitor our charitable support and activities in accordance with the latest government guidance and in line with our Business Continuity Plan.

I am confident that we have a strong sense of ‘Team’ within our organisation and we continuously work to mitigate risk, whilst delivering the valuable services which are so important to our service users, their families/carers. 



Useful websites with up to date information are in the related links shown below


Related Links