Last updated: 27 March 2020
Read answers to the Adult Care frequently asked questions (FAQs)
We are committed to supporting the most vulnerable in our community during these unprecedented times. We know that critical services still need to available for groups including the elderly, those who need safeguarding and those in receipt of benefit payments.
We have established an adult social care and health co-ordination hub which will be open seven days a week. The hub’s role is to manage activity across the council and its partners.
Adult Care Service Delivery
We have stopped delivering some of our non-critical council services to help prevent the virus from spreading and to protect the safety of residents and our staff. This may also need to apply to some services in adult social care, we are working to ensure that our most vulnerable residents can currently continue to receive the same level of care as they did previously.
Whilst there is a small number of cases of COVID-19 in Southampton, our hospitals are preparing in the eventuality that these numbers increase. They will be discharging patients who do not have critical care needs and we will be working with them to ensure packages of support are available in the community or in residential settings.
Most private day services are now closed and they are looking at ways they can support those individuals affected. We have seen the number of residents that attend our council run day centres decline, with many attendees already self-isolating and social distancing. We are contacting those that are still attending to ensure packages of care and support are in place for them and will be closing the day centre.
Home care and residential care
The council and NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working together with health care providers to put in place support for the most vulnerable people who live in residential and nursing homes and for vulnerable people who live at home and receive regular care. We are also supporting home care providers to help them continue to provide high quality care.
As part of our risk assessments, we are undertaking calls with our most vulnerable service users to ascertain whether they present with any symptoms of COVID-19 before we undertake any visits.
You will also start to see all carers and health workers in personal protective equipment when they carry out work that brings them into close personal contact with others. This is because the government has issued new guidance to protect those delivering key services and residents.
This PPE includes aprons, gloves and fluid repellent surgical masks and potentially eye protection. The PPE equipment must only be used once. After it has been used, it must be stored securely in a safe place in doubled disposable rubbish bags for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, friends and families have also been asked not to visit those in residential care settings at this time.
Support in the Community for Vulnerable Adults
The council is also working closely with Southampton Voluntary Services (SVS) and NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to co-ordinate a voluntary, community and social enterprise response and direct help to those that most need it.
Southampton Voluntary Services (SVS) have set up a short survey to build a picture of the support available across the city and how we can collectively support these organisations to help our community.
We are keen to ensure groups get the support and guidance they need, and are able to work collaboratively with other local organisations in order to ensure safe practice for vulnerable people and volunteers themselves.
Advice for vulnerable adults who are social distancing or self-isolating
The NHS is writing by Sunday 29 March 2020 to all its patients that are at risk of severe illness from catching the virus, to ask them to stay at home for 12 weeks. If you receive this letter and are not in receipt of adult social care support, information will be provided in the letter about who will be able to help you with your food, shopping and medication.
The best thing you can do now is plan for how you can adapt your daily routine, and that of others in your household, to be able to follow this advice. Some of the ways in which you could prepare include:
- Talk to your neighbours and family and exchange phone numbers of household contacts
- Consider and plan for those in your home who are considered vulnerable
- Create a contact list with phone numbers of neighbours, schools, employer, chemist, NHS 111
- Set up online shopping accounts if possible
Social distancing can be frustrating, and you may feel low or worried. Try these simple things to stay mentally and physically active:
- Look for ideas of exercises you can do at home. Join the nation in the mornings to the get your day going with Joe Wicks
- Try online exercise videos or the NHS website. See some examples of chair based exercises
- Spend time doing things you enjoy. This could be reading, cooking or listening to the radio or watching TV
- Try to eat healthily, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly and avoid smoking and alcohol
- Keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can.
- Call friends, neighbours or family, or chat face to face via video call.
With a steep rise in domestic violence incidents caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, Hampshire County Council has pulled together the latest guidance for people seeking support or protection at a very high risk time.