How we’re responding to the most recent Covid challenges

“The need to wear PPE cannot be underestimated. It keeps everyone safe.”  Fran Kyprianou, our Deputy Clinical Operations Manager, couldn’t be clearer on that. As a nurse, Fran’s years of clinical experience have played an integral role in managing our processes so that we’re doing everything humanly possible to try to contain the spread of this virus. This has been especially true in the past few weeks as the new strain has made it even more crucial to be vigilant.

“We’ve been running additional PPE training to make sure that everyone’s fully up to speed on the importance of wearing the correct PPE and wearing it properly. But beyond that, we wanted to explain to our carers why it’s so important. They face different challenges, and often it’s not just as easy as donning their PPE and going into a client’s home. We care for people with a variety of different needs. Some may have learning difficulties, some may have dementia. For many, seeing the friendly face of our carers helps them get through the day, and they may not want to see a carer in a mask. Some, sadly, have been misinformed and simply don’t understand why it’s so important.

But it is.

PPE keeps everyone safe. We wear it to protect ourselves, those we care for and the families we go home to after a day at work. We simply cannot and should not perform our roles without it.

All our carers are issued with safety-compliant surgical IIR masks, gloves and aprons. When they go into a client’s home they wear fresh PPE, which is binned before going to their next appointment.

We have different teams who perform different functions and we ensure that all our staff are practically equipped for the challenges they face. For example, some our specialist Care Division require enhanced PPE, as  they may dealing with people who require complex respiratory management. We provide the same standard as would be issued in the Intensive Care department of a hospital.”

Whilst we saw last year in the media that there were PPE shortages in the care sector, that wasn’t the case for Better Healthcare. The senior management team were quick to respond as soon as news of the pandemic broke.

Operations Director Samantha Diamond recalls the media coverage of PPE shortages vividly: “We knew as a company that we had be pro-active. We simply couldn’t take the risk of not having enough PPE in place. So we sourced our own PPE in China and ordered in bulk. We were acutely aware that this wasn’t just about what was the best thing to do for us a company, but what was the best thing to do as human beings. So we made ourselves known and what we were doing to various Local Authority agencies and the Red Cross, and increased our quantities so that we were able to help supply them.  We wanted to help as many people as possible, not just those we deal with directly. The British Red Cross sent us a lovely note of thanks, which is on our website. In tough times we need to do everything we can to support each other.”

Fran echoed how ahead of the curve Better Healthcare was with PPE and how one of their offices has been completely taken over by supplies, but that it’s their preparation and tenacity to go that extra mile that is helping them through the crisis.

“We really do go above and beyond. We stress the importance of being tested and have a high uptake of carers taking voluntary weekly testing. When staff are vigilant it means that they stay well – which in turn means they can stay in work and provide care to our most vulnerable.”

Fran went on to say that the stress the pandemic has put on the entire care sector has been incredibly tough, but that it’s a matter of looking at the challenges and responding to them with practical solutions.

“We’ve made training a top priority. We’ve been able to take on more staff because we’ve found ways to continue to deliver socially distant, one-to-one training to new staff, so our competency levels are the same as they would have been pre-pandemic. The carers we have going out know exactly what they are doing.

This has enabled us to be completely responsive to need in the community, whether it’s for domiciliary carers or one of more specialist services. It also means that we’ve been able to offer new career opportunities for those who’ve been prompted to consider a career in care, or those furloughed. It’s a good feeling to be able to help the community in a different way.”

Fran Kyprianou

Clinical Operations Manager

It’s so important to wear PPE correctly. You can find out more in our short training video.