The safety and wellbeing of those we support, their families and carers, and our workforce is of paramount importance to us at GAMH. We have outlined below a series of measures which we have implemented to date to try to keep ourselves and those we support safe and well. These measures may change, as we are in a quickly changing situation but we promise to keep you up to date on a weekly basis or whenever our arrangements are revised and altered.
Please know that we do not make these decisions lightly. We appreciate the anxiety that all of us are experiencing in this uniquely challenging time when we are being asked to limit social contact with friends and family, practice social distancing and forced to radically change our daily routines . Keeping in contact with the people we support and our colleagues is vital to help us all get through this crisis. We have been developing contingency plans and strategies since the outbreak has escalated and will be using as many creative solutions as we can, such as Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp and other social media to stay in touch with each other if we cannot safely meet face to face.
Cancellation of Non Essential Visits
In line with NHS and the Scottish Government guidance on the coronavirus pandemic and significant impact on staff resources, all GAMH offices have been closed as of 20th March 2020. We have suspended all non-essential visits. This includes non-essential visits relating to our 1-1 Services, Self-Directed Support, Group Support, and Volunteering/Befriending Services.
We regret that we are unable to take new referrals at this time but we will reassure referrers that they will be placed on a waiting list and followed up as soon as normal working practices can be resumed.
Staying in touch with the people we support and carers
Staying in touch with the people we support is more important than ever during times of uncertainty. That is why we have ensured that:
• All GAMH workers have been given work plan instructions and the IT tools to work remotely from home if they are well. Their core function will be to provide support via telephones and I.T.
• Face to face contact has been limited for service users who have been risk assessed as the most vulnerable and at risk.
• The people we support have been informed that substitute staff may have to cover support should our staff resources be depleted.
Support and Guidance to GAMH Staff
GAMH have put in place a Pandemic Response Team whose purpose is to review and respond to issues on a regular basis, keeping staff informed of any procedures and adjustments to support arrangements that need to be followed. Staff have also been encouraged to keep themselves updated using NHS, Health Protection Scotland, UK Government or World Health Organisation sites.
Information and Advice
You can still keep in touch with us via telephone & email in the usual way.
We are committed to updating the website on a regular basis during this crisis www.gamh.org.uk and you can follow us on twitter @GAMH1977
For information on the coronavirus outbreak please go to NHS Inform
There is also a dedicated Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 028 2816
Do not go to your GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you think you may have coronavirus. Stay at home and call your GP or 111 after hours for advice. Call 999 if it is an emergency
General information about the pandemic can be found on the Scottish Government website
Links to looking after your mental wellbeing during the COVID outbreak is available on https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2
Useful Wellbeing Apps that you can refer to are available on our website
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this difficult time. We hope to return to business as usual as soon as we are advised it is safe to do so. Please take care and keep well.
Jacqueline Croft (CEO)