CEO Update 15 October
14 October, 2021
As we cautiously approach a return to services, I’m sure many of you are experiencing mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. Rest assured Bayley House have been working hard to make the transition as safe and comfortable as possible while maintaining engaging and rewarding services.
We really look forward to seeing you soon.
Delivering COVID-safe services
We are very excited that we can return to offering a full range of activities on site from October 26th and I know from discussions with many clients and families that you are too! We are all aware that this ‘coming out of lockdown’ will be different to previous experiences. The Victorian Government Roadmap is clear that many activities will be reopening but that access to them will largely be restricted to people who are fully vaccinated. We also understand, even with 70% and 80% of the community vaccinated, that there will continue to be COVID-19 infections.
At Bayley House we have worked hard since March last year to continue to provide activities and to support our clients and families, to comply with Government directives and to adapt to a constantly changing environment. We continue to do so and I want to share with you how we plan to provide services over the next 6 months whilst ensuring that we provide a ‘COVID-safe’ environment for our clients and staff.
Whilst specific Government directions are yet to be released we anticipate that residents, as with the rest of the community, will be free to leave home for any reason from October 26th, 2021. We further assume that this will include attendance at day services and other activities. Visits to the homes of family members will however only be permitted once that provision is eased by Government. Visitors will be permitted to our residences which is a welcome change. Please bear in mind that Bayley House will have in place ‘COVID-safe’ requirements which may include the wearing of masks, restricted access within the residence, and other provisions assessed as appropriate. Further details will be provided in coming weeks.
We have continued to operate short stay services though demand from families has been understandably diminished. Both Lonsdale and Asling Street properties will be available for short stay bookings which will be offered in a ‘COVID-safe’ environment. Specifically this means that all staff working in the properties will be fully vaccinated and that, similarly, clients who are vaccinated will be guaranteed to be supported only with other clients who are vaccinated. Additional COVID related precautions around the use of masks, additional cleaning and sanitising will of course remain in place.
We all know that our clients are very social and that one of the things they love about attending day service is the social interaction with other clients and staff. Like you, we look forward to the day when that will be possible in a fully unrestricted context but we know we are not there yet. In order to keep people safe and in order to minimise disruption in the event that someone does contract COVID-19 we are making significant changes to the way in which our day services will be delivered. This is not forever….but we expect it will be for at least the next few months.
Our group based activities will be spread across 6 locations which we will refer to as zones –
- 928 Nepean Highway
- 50 Middle Crescent
- 54 Middle Crescent
- 52 Middle Crescent – Glasborrow (entry from the rear)
- 52 Middle Crescent – Lower level (entry from the rear)
- 52 Middle Crescent – Upper level (entry via main door)
To ensure this zoning activity is effective, entry to these zones will be strictly managed and there will be no movement by clients or staff between zones. As mentioned above, all staff will be fully vaccinated. We know that most of our clients are vaccinated and continue to seek confirmation of this. What we can guarantee is that vaccinated clients will only be with other clients who are known to be vaccinated. Additional cleaning services remain in place and the wearing of masks, PPE and use of sanitising will be as required.
Community, Leisure and Recreation (CLR)
CLR Manager Danielle Roberts has an amazing array of activities already planned and these will be further enhanced as opportunity permits. Once again all services will be offered in a ‘COVID-safe’ context; fully vaccinated staff and clients. Please bear in mind that CLR activities which are offered in community settings will need to comply with Government directions which apply to those locations and services. We will promote more CLR activities as we are able.
I acknowledge the limiting nature of some of these arrangements but know that you will appreciate we are determined to offer as many wonderful activities as we can but also doing everything we can in trying to keep clients and staff safe and avoid disruption to services. In the event that a client or staff member does test positive to COVID-19 we will need to close that activity or zone down immediately and advise families of all clients who would be considered a primary contact. Time is of the essence in such circumstances and, whilst we know you would appreciate being contacted directly by one of our staff, the most efficient way for us to get in touch with everyone quickly is via an automated text message service. We are presently exploring this option and will provide further details shortly. Of course our staff will remain available to you if you have further questions or need support.
Kerri Rolfe and Andy Gabriel will be in contact with all families over the next two weeks to clarify details. In the meantime if you do have any queries please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our staff. Thank you once again for supporting Bayley House through these challenging times. We know that the next 6 months will hold new challenges for everyone but we are excited to know that we are finally in the home straight.
Take care and stay safe…