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Covid 19 - Our service changes

covid 19 graphic

Published on 03 April 2020 06:41 PM

Covid 19 - Our current opening times are 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, 7 days a week.

Although we have closed our main Bradbury Centre and our social and exercise groups, all of our others services such as Customer Services, Information and Advice, Befriending, Admiral Nurses and Dementia Services are still operating.

Update May 15 2020

Government Guidance

It has been a particularly hard week for our teams in Extra Care because of the Government announcement on Sunday, and everyone’s  interpretation of the new rules on visiting their families.

We hope we have now reached a new steady state, at least for another couple of weeks. Unfortunately every time there is a change in Government Guidance we will have to prepare ourselves and our customers for the inevitable uncertainty which follows, and then the subsequent calm as everyone settles down into the new rules.

Technology

We are going to accelerate our plans to introduce further technology into our Extra Care Housing Schemes. Our Head of Professional Care, Kerry Parker and our Chief Executive, Dawn McNally have this week discussed the role of technology in care in detail and will be preparing teams for the part they will play in supporting customers to access this.

Staff Update

Staff absence this week has averaged at 6%, it did fall to 5% on Wednesday. All in all another very good week for our team .

Customer Update

We have 2 customers reporting C19 symptoms but thankfully no recorded deaths due to C19. Our infection control measures are proving very effective but we will not become complacent.

Exit Strategy

We are still in Phase 1 of our Exit from Lockdown Plan, and we continue as we are with the same levels of control in place. We will share detail when we plan to move to Phase 2.

Service Update

Our services have evolved during C19 and we have launched:

Carer Peer Support Group

Bereavement Support Group

Recruitment

We are recruiting new care staff as we are receiving new customers regularly. The Staff Referral Scheme rewards the person referring a new employee who stays with us with £200.

Food Parcel Friday

We end the week having delivered a further 100 food parcels across North Tyneside, and the Bradbury Centre HQ building is slowly morphing to provide a new working environment for us. We feel very well prepared to meet the challenges the ‘new normal’ presents.


Update May 11 2020

Lockdown Remains

Whilst the Government announced some changes last night Age UK North Tyneside and EveryDay Care does not intend making any further changes to those in our existing Phase 1 plan which was announced last Thursday.

Phase 1 which starts 11.05.2020 means we will continue as we are currently, until we are advised by Dawn McNally, Chief Executive.

For those staff whose normal place of work is the Bradbury Centre we will allow “selected” staff to come in and prepare their work area for our new ways of working. This will be done on a rota basis which is being managed by our Heads of Service.

We are not rostering the following staff to come into the Bradbury Centre:

  • Staff with caring responsibilities, including children at home
  • Staff who would have to use public transport to travel to and from work

Control Measures

All staff will uphold the following controls:

  • Do not come in if you feel unwell, let your Line Manager know as you would normally
  • Wash your hands regularly and especially when you come into the Bradbury Centre and last thing before you leave
  • Keep 2 metres apart from other people, there will be a maximum of four people in the building at any one time, including a key holder
  • We have set up a PPE Station which includes aprons, gloves and face masks. We strongly advise staff to wear the aprons and to dispose of any worn items in the bins provided. The PPE is being provided for those staff who will feel more comfortable with additional protection.

BBC Look North Special Report

We contributed video footage for a special report for BBC Look North which aired 11.05.2020. This piece covered how our customers are coping during lockdown and their reaction to Boris’ speech last evening,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWJfOSScL2w 

Dementia Action Week

It is Dementia Action Week this week so a great opportunity to raise awareness of dementia and how we support those families living and caring for someone with dementia. Our websites have been updated with relevant information including our new Peer Support Group specifically for carers. These take place by Zoom on Mondays.

Food Parcels

We are expecting to deliver another 200 food parcels this week taking our total to 750 which is incredible and hugely appreciated by the recipients.

Staff Update

Staff absence remains at 6% today therefore no change which is fantastic news.

Customer Update

We sadly have two customers within Extra Care Housing Schemes with C19 symptoms, where infection controls have been increased to the highest levels. Both customers have mild symptoms and will be in isolation for 14 days.

Our staff have had some difficulties reinforcing lockdown procedures with families. Our Head of Professional Care Services, Kerry Parker has requested additional support from North Tyneside Council and our Registered Social Landlords to reinforce the messages that we remain in lockdown to ensure customer safety.


Update 9 May 2020

Road Map Back

Another week ends with great progress made across our Group services https://www.ageuk.org.uk/northtyneside/about-us/news/articles/2020/our-covid-19-response/

Staff  Update

Staff absence is down to 6% with no staff absent with C19 symptoms or in isolation, the only absence we have is “none” C19. We can also report 9 staff have now been tested for the virus to date, with 1 out of these 9 confirmed with C19, now recovered.

 Customer Update

We are down to 1 Customer reporting symptoms of C19, we pray they come through and fully recover from this.

Road Map Back To The ‘New Normal’

We intend to communicate our plans for changes to lockdown, after the Prime Minister’s announcement on 10.05.2020.

Phased Approach

To outline how we will approach the easing of lockdown we have identified four phases as follows:

Phase 1- As we are, supporting customers as we have been doing so, with staff being asked, on a rota basis, to prepare their work areas for our new ways of working and to cleanse all customer data. This will be the Phase we move into next week which essentially means we continue as we are. The reason for this is to remain locked down until we see the impact of any changes the Government makes. We deliver services to older people who are high risk and therefore we cannot take the risk of removing any of the controls we have in place, yet. This includes visitors to our Extra Care Housing Schemes which will remain locked down until further notice. The North East is just moving through the peak of the virus now, unlike London and other areas down south, so we must continue to be extra vigilant.

We will communicate when we are ready to move to Phase 2 .

Phase 2- Consultation and Engagement, all services will  move to engaging and consulting with our customers to discuss what changes to services they would like to see, if any.

Phase 3- Planning for our New World where training, equipment needs etc will be identified and actioned to reflect changes to service delivery as informed by our customers, funders etc. new strategic priorities. Performance targets will be identified and management tools updated. Whilst the essence of our work will continue as before we will be delivering in a different way, hence this phase to allow time to adapt our ways of working.

Phase 4- Our New World, we start to deliver in the new world.

These phases have not been timed, yet, they will evolve naturally from one phase to another. The detailed plans prepared by our Heads of Service reflect these four phases.

In the news

Yvonne Probert, Head of Charity Services, has been exceptionally busy last week providing TV and radio interviews. The media was very interested to understand how our own Covid-19 response supported North Tyneside residents and customers.

A clip of one interview with BBC Look North https://youtu.be/3QJeCmEmL5M .

Celebrations

Our Customers have enjoyed VE Day celebrations this week and although we’ve been in a lockdown situation that hasn’t stopped EveryDay providing a wonderful party atmosphere. In addition school children kindly provided a number of cards, drawings and letters to our customers across the borough for which they were very grateful.

Dementia Action Week

Next week is Dementia Action Week and our Dementia Connections Team led by Betty Lucas will be sharing advice and information about supporting loved ones at home especially during Covid-19.


Update May 2 2020

Staff Absence Update

We are pleased to report that staff absence continues at 9%, whilst there are changes between different services overall absence remains unchanged.

As part of her role, Kerry Parker, Head of Professional Care Services reports staff absence and customer illnesses/deaths to various agencies every day, including North Tyneside Council. We are very proud of the way our service has remained uninterrupted during Covid-19.

Customer Update

In addition we are absolutely delighted to report that customer’s reporting symptoms of the virus have reduced to 2, which means 3 have recovered which is fantastic news for all concerned.

End of Financial Year

Our Leadership Team has been busy preparing the end of year reports, which are looking positive.

Food Parcels Deliveries Continue

The most recent delivery of 200 food parcels has gone this week to older people who are not Age UK North Tyneside or EveryDay Care customers.  This brings the total delivered to date to 550.

Our sincere thanks again go to Vicky Pattison who continues to fund raise to make these donations a reality.

Partnerships

We also reached out to Everlasting Care customers, a well-respected domiciliary care partner organisation and provided their customers with 80 parcels for which they were very grateful.

New Carer Support Group

We have launched a new peer support group for carers in North Tyneside . This group is not just for those who are caring for someone living with dementia but for all carers. Covid-19 has created additional challenges for carers isolated with their loved ones, sometimes 24/7. 

Covid-19 Testing

We are encouraging all staff with symptoms to arrange to be tested for Covid-19. Use this link https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test to arrange a test. As part of the process staff will asked for some basic information which includes:

  • Vehicle registration number (of the car you will attend your appointment in)
  • Mobile Phone Number (so they can make contact with you)
  • Organisation (that the health or social care professional works for)
  • NHS Number (please note this is optional)
  • Health or Social Care Professionals name
  • E-mail address (so that they can confirm an appointment with you once booked)
  • Position / Role (for example – nurse / social worker / carer etc.)

Please note: If you do not reply with this information, they will not be able to book an appointment slot.  Once they receive this information they will make arrangements to call you.

Do let our HR Team you have had a test and the outcome please. Tel: 0191 2877011

VE Day 75

Friday 8th May is VE Day. We intend to remember the day and what it may mean to our customers regardless of the lockdown situation we will ensure the date is marked.

Life After Lockdown

Finally it is our intention to circulate details of our exit strategy next week. This will involve a phased return which Heads of Service and Managers will communicate to teams.

Service Update 26th April 2020

Staff Absences

Our staff absence continues to show no real change, currently we have 10% of the workforce absent which is now the lowest it has been during lockdown. As a result all services continue to run normally.

Customer Update

Very sadly, one of our Dementia Connections customers died earlier this week in his care home (Ethoian Homes). It’s a very distressing time for his family who continue to be in our thoughts as well as those who cared for him.

Apart from this gentleman there is one other change to the number of customers reporting COVID 19 symptoms, which is a positive one, this customer is now reporting to be very well which is fantastic news.

Business As Usual

Since lockdown was extended we have continued to receive a very steady number of calls to our Customer Services Team who continue to offer the service 7 days of the week.

The nature of these calls continues to be for information, advice and guidance with referrals to our essential shopping service and telephone befriending. We have additionally been able to take on new care packages.

Both new services are getting busier each day, and we continue to be comfortable with our capacity to deliver these vital services.

Food Parcel Donations

We delivered 350 essential food parcels to older people across the borough supported by Aspire Technology Solutions.

We will continue to target those older people in greatest need. We’ve had some wonderful feedack from very grateful older people following receipt of their parcels. Additionally Care Scheme Managers fedback that they’d seen a marked up lift in the spirits of their residents.

PPE Update

To ensure the continued safety of our key workers and our customers we have again replenished our stock of PPE. We were very fortunate to receive donations of face shields from AMAP: University of Sunderland who donated a further 250 for which we are extremely grateful.

Exit Strategy

Our Leadership Team continues to work on our Exit Strategy which we expect to communicate internally before the next Government Announcement about lockdown on 7 May 2020.


Service Update 17th April 2020

The Government has confirmed that “lockdown” will remain in place for another 3 weeks. For our organisation this means we will continue to operate as we have done over the last couple of weeks. Any changes in service provision will be communicated and shared as we’ve done throughout COVID19

The Leadership Team reported a further decrease in staff absence this morning which is fantastic news.

Very sadly, the number of customers reporting COVID 19 symptoms has increased to 10 over these last two days, 3 are supported through our Dementia Connections Team, 1 at Linskill Park, Rowan Croft, Care at Home in the North West, Crossgates, Fontburn Court, Thomas Ferguson Court and EveryDay Living. Our thoughts are with their families at this time.

Our Leadership Team have discussed the Employee and Team of the Quarter Awards, and have agreed not to identify any one individual this quarter as we are inundated with stories and fantastic examples of how our team members are all going above and beyond. Therefore, we have nominated and recognise every staff member.

We have been notified of a donation of 150 food parcels from reality TV personality Vicky Pattison (ex Geordie Shore/Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here) which is incredibly generous.

We will be supported by Aspire (our IT support company) to deliver the packages to older people across the borough. They have put 3 of their vans and drivers at our disposal. Our gratitude goes to Vicky and to Aspire for their support.

In addition our Information and Advice team reported its final year end outcomes which were incredible. The team which comprises both staff and volunteers achieved some amazing results for older people in North Tyneside.

The total benefit gain achieved was £1,778,026 not only smashing our target of £1,178,487, but breaking the record of the highest benefit gain to date.

Customers supported to maximise their income are on average better off by £140.62 per week, as we know securing this extra income has a huge impact often allowing a person to remain independent for as long as possible in their own homes.

We have supported;

  •  831 individuals through face to face office based appointments
  • Carried out 462 home visits
  • Resolved 3764 enquires via telephone and
  • 996 individuals have been supported by just popping into the Bradbury Centre
  • In total approximately 3619 individuals have been supported through the I&A project resolving over 6200 enquiries

Service Update 14th April 2020

The emails have been pouring in this morning applauding our EveryDay Professional Care & Support staff for being so responsive over the bank holiday weekend, here is just one of those messages:

Message of thanks

Hi Kerry, Can I ask you to send through a massive thank you message to all your team. Our Emergency Duty Team and Gateway have told us Age UK North Tyneside’s homecare service was incredibly helpful and responsive over the Easter weekend. And they will be clapping extra hard for you on Thursday. Thank you so much"

Proud

We are so very, very proud and a thank you goes to everyone who was working over the weekend supporting older people.

Charity Update

The numbers of people requesting our essential shopping service is slowly increasing and the telephone befriending service continues to be busy.

Dementia Connections

Our Dementia Connections team continue to support existing and new customers, and we can see that there are some very distressed carers struggling during lockdown. Very sadly, we now have a customer within this service diagnosed with the virus and who now is on an end of life pathway.

His wife is not allowed to visit him which is obviously very distressing for her, and our team are supporting her. Our thoughts are with them at this absolutely awful time

We’d like to extend our sincere gratitude to  SOS Industrial who today offered to donate 250 face mask clips to ease the pressure on the ears of our key workers who are working in PPE constantly now.

We have received another shipment of PPE this weekend and our stock has once again been replenished which is further great news as new guidelines were circulated this weekend for it’s use.

Please stay safe and help us to continue to support North Tyneside and Newcastle’s most vulnerable, and of course our fantastic care team.


Easter Services Update

With Easter fast approaching and lockdown highly likely to be extended over the Easter weekend we continue to operate steadily, and are well prepared for an increased demand on our services.

Staff Absences Reduced

We’ve seen a decrease in staff absent or self-isolating which is fantastic news. Our absence figures are very small considering the circumstances.

Sadly, the number of customers reporting virus symptoms has increased to 7 from the 3 reported last week. Our thoughts are with their families at this time.

Projected Peak Period

As we move towards the projected “peak period” for the virus, we have implemented additional controls for our teams working within our Extra Care Housing Schemes, which go above and beyond the Government’s most recent Guidance.

Business As Usual

All of our care services continue to run without any disruption which is a fantastic achievement, we are reliably informed that we have further increased our reputation as a quality care provider as not all providers have coped as well as EveryDay.

Councillor Gary Bell (Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care) has tweeted his “heartfelt thanks” and appreciation for our care staff, which is so well deserved.

Charity Services Update

Our Charity services also continue to run smoothly, those that continue to run “virtually” include Dementia Connections, Older Offenders, Information & Advice and Strength & Balance.

The new services, which include Telephone Befriending, Essential Shopping, Emergency Food Deliveries and Patient Transport, all have capacity.

Existing customers are currently very well supported, but this may change if/when lockdown is extended.

Reaching Out

We are reaching out to older people in the most deprived areas of the borough with high levels of older people living on their own, which we expect to increase demand for these services in the coming weeks.

And Finally

We do not need to make any efficiencies or lose any jobs because of COVID 19. Our  leadership team is now planning our Exit Strategy for when lockdown is lifted and as always we will ensure that all of our stakeholders remain informed and updated.



Sunday 29 March 2020

Thankfully today’s service provision update is short and sweet.

Staff absence is reducing which is fantastic news but we are not being complacent and remain ready for the next challenge!

We have no changes to highlight and all services which are running are operating without any disruption over the weekend. Another amazing achievement for our teams. Thank you all for your continued passion in these challenging times.

We do hope that everyone has had a chance to read the letter from the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care Matt Hancock applauding the work of carers in social care.

Until tomorrow, stay safe and well


Saturday 28 MARCH 2020

Weekend Update On Service Provision

We start the weekend with one only more member of staff self-isolating, and the fantastic news is that next week we expect a number of staff to return to work after self-isolation.

All in all as a Group we continue to perform superbly during the COVID-19 situation.

High Sheriff for Tyne and Wear

We have received a message from the High Sheriff for Tyne and Wear applauding our work,
Dawn, long ago I decided that a key focus of my shrieval year would be to support charities and community groups in Tyne & Wear working to combatting loneliness, little knowing that their work would become even more vital with the arrival of COVID-19. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to raise the profile of your valuable work .
In the days/weeks/months ahead – as and when appropriate I’d also be keen to visit and view your work first hand. Meanwhile, hope you are keeping well.
Best wishes. Sarah”

Sarah Stewart OBE DL, High Sheriff for Tyne and Wear

It is very motivating for us all to receive something like this,  and well deserved as our team is pulling together amazingly in light of COVID-19

Reaching Out

We have reached a steady state and the Leadership Team has agreed today to try and reach out to those older people who are not aware of the support we are offering. 
We must emphasise this will very much depend on Northumbria Police agreeing to us carrying out a leaflet drop of the “contact cards” we use currently for our existing customers.

Additionally we are in the process of asking the Post Office if they could support us to do this, and we will also ask for volunteers to be on standby to support.

Yvonne Probert, Head of Charity Services is preparing a “hit list” of the areas we intend to target starting early next week. The plan is to do this in phases starting with the most “deprived” areas of the borough, monitoring the demand on our services as we go. Yvonne will also be responsible for communicating this to volunteers.

Our Customer Service Team has received a steady stream of requests today from local residents and their families , some of whom are not located locally .

The lines are open 7 days 10:00-15:00 Tel 0191 2808484 . The team will respond to all voicemail messages left on this number.

We will continue to produce a regular update as developments take shape so please check our social media platforms for regular updates and share our messages with your own networks.


Friday 27 MARCH 2020

It’s fantastic to be able to report that there are no changes to our staff absences, and none of our customers are reporting COVID 19 symptoms today.

Age UK North Tyneside and EveryDay Care have circulated to all relevant staff, a letter from our Chief Executive, Dawn McNally which emphasises our role in delivering essential services to vulnerable older people, and therefore our right to continue to travel during lock down.

Staff had requested this as the Police have challenged them and asked for evidence that confirms they are supporting an essential service.

In addition to this we are in the process of getting a car parking permit to relevant key worker staff allowing access to restricted parking areas without fear of recompense.

The Customer Service Team are available over 7 days, 10am to 3pm. Only new customer enquiries and referrals will go through this team who will then action these to the relevant service.

The main telephone system is operating on a “night” service with a new message asking our customers to leave a voicemail for us.

We are linking with other local support partners in North Tyneside who in addition to ourselves are supporting older, vulnerable residents to remain at home safely.

These include:

The Whitley Bay Roundtable http://whitleybayroundtable.org/support/

VODA https://voda.org.uk/good-neighbours/

We are updating our websites and social media platforms daily with information pertinent to our customer demographic linking to partner activity and support available locally.

Although our Bradbury Centre building is currently closed and our teams are all working from home and our Extra Care Schemes in the case of EveryDay our leadership team meets virtually each day to ensure service provision is sustained. 

As always we will keep all of our stakeholders fully appraised of any changes to service provision for Age UK North Tyneside and EveryDay Care.


Thursday 26 March 2020

It’s good news that I have very little to report today, most importantly that our “essential” care services continue without any disruption. The EveryDay Care teams continue to do a fantastic job.

Please check our website news page and encourage friends and family members to do the same as there are lots of different activities that you and our customers could be doing whilst we’re in the ongoing lockdown situation.

In addition our social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook) are working well for us with key partners liking and sharing our news constantly.

I am delighted to report that we still have no customers reporting COVID-19 symptoms which is testament to the procedures and processes already in place to combat every eventuality, even a pandemic of this magnitude.  

For our key worker care teams in the community we are today trying to get confirmation from North Tyneside and Newcastle City Councils that they will supply us with a letter confirming our care service is “essential”.

Unfortunately some of our key worker staff have been stopped by the Police who have asked for confirmation of their necessity to be ‘on the road’.

EveryDay Care team members should have their ID with them at all times in addition their managers will supply them with a sign for either their vehicle or to carry about their person with our Head of Professional Care services Kerry Parker’s mobile number which they can share with the Police if challenged.

Sadly there is no sign of the delivery of face masks. Be assured that we are chasing the supply chain.

As necessity is the ‘mother of invention’ we have made over 750 face masks in house to date. We have 400 in stock and materials to make a further 400 if necessary, so as you’d expect we are well prepared.

We have launched the Telephone Befriending Service and we are now receiving referrals. Our Customer Service team will continue to triage enquiries and pass these to our Volunteering team.

The main contact number to access this service is 0191 2808484.

Our 40 existing Befriending volunteers continue to support our existing customers, and we have 10 new COVID 19 volunteers on the telephones with a further 77 volunteers in the process of being checked and trained to support older customers over the telephone.

The numbers are staggering and include volunteers from Accenture based at the Cobalt Industrial Estate. Our Volunteering team is supporting this service and we hope that in the future the friendships made during COVID-19 will be sustained.

Our Customer Service team has offered advice and guidance to some 100+, often distressed, older people, and demand for our shopping service is strong.

Our website is updated very regularly as are all of our social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook ) so we can direct customers online if needs be.

Our Customer Service team is available over 7 days 10am to 3pm Tel 0191 2808484.

Until tomorrow, stay safe everyone.

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