How coronavirus has changed the home healthcare unit?

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have especially hit support workers. All of those within the healthcare sector have a critical role to play in keeping the most vulnerable in our society safe – from nurses, occupational therapists, personal assistants, social workers, through to caterers and cleaners.

Around 1.5 million people work in the adult social care sector within England alone and social care and support workers are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 when compared to the general population. Social care has benefited from the £1.6bn emergency funding diverted to local authorities and a £600m infection control fund for care homes. However, there are still challenges impacting all adult social care service users, including those living with learning disabilities, autism, and epilepsy.

Reductions in Care Capacity

Supported living schemes are having limited contact between residents due to shielding guidance for home placements. This is reducing the social contact and stimulation required for mental and emotional well-being, as well as limiting the lifestyles of service users.

Some homes have implemented technology-based alternatives. Technology can be a temporary alternative to face-to-face support to maintain vital contact. Service users can communicate with each other over video conferencing software, as well as support workers and families using these services to deliver activities and checking the needs of those needing support.

Healthcare Units as ‘Hotspots’

In healthcare units, locations with movement of workers and communal living, it is not practical to shield or isolate people as required for lockdown guidelines. The disruption caused by these changes can have a significant impact on service users and has seen decreases in function and capabilities. These disruptions can lead to challenges for those with complex needs.

The use of monitoring devices in home units may sometimes best support people to remain in their accommodation safely, and the implementation of hands-free communication methods mean that friends, families, and professionals can freely interact with service users. Remote consultations with medical staff could benefit unwell residents and keep effective channels of communication open.

Continuity of Care

Long-term social isolation is having a detrimental impact on those who are already vulnerable with existing emotional or well-being issues, thus increasing demands for support and health services that are already stretched.

The provision of hardware and software to those who may not have access to technology can be used for communication and well-being. Extending the use of ‘befriending’ services across these digital channels means that those who are shielding, living alone, or are vulnerable can easily communicate with each other and their support workers.

If you’re searching for care assistant jobs in Southampton, we want to hear from you. We’re looking for dedicated and caring workers to support people with severe learning difficulties, autism, and complex behaviours. Whether you’re experienced in the sector or you’re looking to start, we can help you start a fulfilling career.

Sequence CEO proud of 100% ‘Good’ or above ratings from the Care Quality Commission.

The Sequence service at Birchwood House, Newham, has just received the final report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection visit back in January. Once again, it has been rated as ‘Good’ by the Inspectors.

‘We take great pride in our achievements here at Sequence and I’d just like to publicly say ‘thanks and well done’ to all my colleagues involved in achieving this result,’ said Tony Hegarty (Sequence Group CEO). ‘We know it’s increasingly hard to achieve ‘Good’ ratings from CQC and are delighted that the excellent outcomes for service users are reflected in the consistency of our CQC ratings’.

Sequence completed the purchase of Liaise Loddon in December 2019 and now manages 32 services- all of which are rated ‘Good’ or above by the experts at the Care Quality Commission.

‘We work hard to make people’s lives as rich as they can be and, like everyone else, we’ve had to adapt to the world as it’s changed around us. We have one service rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC and we are really proud of that but it’s not enough for us- we’re striving to be outstanding in all our services.’

‘Sequence has an open culture which is about learning from mistakes. Of course, we’ve got a fantastic quality infrastructure but without a great, open culture we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have at Birchwood and across the Group.’

Sequence is believed to be the largest provider of learning disability services in the UK which has all services rated ‘Good’ or above by the Care Quality Commission’.

Further information about Sequence Care Group
Sequence Care Group is a wonderful vibrant organisation comprising of three parts, Sequence Care, Progress Housing and Liaise Loddon. The services across the Group work collectively but retain their own unique personality. We invite you all to learn more about Sequence Care Group by visiting each of individual websites within the group:


Post COVID-19 Guide for Care Support Staff

The COVID-19 lockdown has drastically impacted those with care and support needs, as well as their support workers. Care support staff are more likely to be infected by the virus than anyone else in the UK’s general population, which understandably brings anxiety and concern that the vulnerable service users you care for may be impacted.

As lockdown rules start to gradually be eased and adapted, there will be challenges. In fact, the care home jobs for learning disabilities in Southampton will be changing. Here’s our guide to helping yourself and those you support through this time.

Understanding Change

Many vulnerable people find unexplained changes or complex situations to be challenging, confusing, or anxiety-inducing. You may find people are unsettled by changes, even those that seem to be returning things to ‘normal’, as they have become used to new routines.

Make sure that service users are included in decisions and discussions about leaving lockdown, so they can fully understand and have a say in what will change in their lives. Use strategies that have been used before for managing big changes and keep a level of consistency around them. Accessible resources from Learning Disabilities England, the National Autistic Society, and Books Beyond Words will help navigate these changes.

Social Distancing

We may now go out to non-essential workplaces, shops, and exercise as many times in the day as we would like. Remind those in home care that some restrictions still do apply; while they can meet people and move between support bubbles, social distancing is still advised and they should wear a mask and remember to wash their hands once at home.

Now that members of the same household or socially distant households may go out together, more than one person with a learning disability or autism may go out at the same time in small groups. While this may cause anxiety at first, encourage service users to find ways to reconnect with friends and family in ways that will still keep them safe.

Keeping Safe

Covid 19 is now looking to be under control if we all maintain social distancing and stick to Government guidelines. It is important for service users to maintain personal hygiene and infection control routines. Keep support workers modelling good behaviour when moving between premises and ensure that these standards are kept with service users. Keep up the routine of washing hands as soon as people arrive in home units, and ensure that hand washing lasts for at least 20 seconds. Remind people to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and to keep disposing of tissues in the bin, followed by washing their hands.

If you’re searching for care home jobs, we want to hear from you. We’re always looking for dedicated and caring people, with a great hands-on proactive attitude, to help provide support for people with learning difficulties, autism, and complex behaviour needs. Browse our current vacancies and apply online to start a fulfilling career in the care sector.