Fife's Health and Social Care Partnernship is ensuring that measures are in place to support the increased demand being placed on our services. Many of the services we normally deliver have been suspended to allow us to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak. Below you will find more information on key services being delivered for the health and safety of our communities.
We're reminding everyone to follow advice from NHS Scotland to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the Coronavirus and urge everyone over the age of 70 to self-isolate and follow government advice.
Staying at home to keep you safe and protect Social Care and NHS workers
Teams in the Health and Social Care Partnership have changed how they are delivering care - this is to keep you safe.
We need to reduce the number of reasons for people to come to a health facility. This is in line with Government information and to support older people and people with underlying health conditions. Some may be identified to be 'shielded' and have been asked to stay at home.
What is Shielding?
‘Shielding’ is designed to protect people who are extremely clinically vulnerable. Shielding works by minimising all interaction between them and others to protect them from coming into contact, with the COVID-19 virus.
It is essential that people in these groups strictly self-isolate for at least 12 weeks. This ‘shielding’ is designed to support them to do this, to protect them from serious illness as well as taking pressure off the NHS. The full guidance (“shielding guidance”) is available from the NHS Inform website.
How do you know if you are ‘Shielded’?
If you are in this group of especially vulnerable people because of your specific underlying health condition, then you will receive a personal letter from the Chief Medical Officer. It is important to read this letter because it provides key help and advice. It also provides a number for a text messaging service and email address for medically vulnerable people. By using this you can get extra help to manage while staying safe at home. If you have any difficulty making contact via the details on the Chief Medical Officer's letter, then please do not hesitate to call the Fife Covid Community Helpline 0800 952 0330, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5pm.
Visits from Health Workers
We understand that people are possibly worried about health workers coming into their home, but we want to assure you that our staff are following strict infection control guidance. If you are offered an appointment in your home this is because it is safer for you. By us visiting you it means you are not having to travel to and entering a health centre or clinic.
We want to ensure that you can continue to receive the healthcare you need in the safest place for you.
Care at Home
Fife HSCP is appealing to everyone receiving help from home carers to stick to social distancing guidance.
We understand that these are very difficult times especially for those who are more vulnerable. Our front-line home carers are there to provide the vital support they need to live at home and maintain their independence. For the safety of home care workers and the protection of service users we are asking that no family members or friends, who do not live in the household, are in the house when home carers go in to do their work. Although this is not a situation that is arising often, we are appealing to everyone to stick to the social distancing guidance that we have all been given. Thank you for your consideration and help to keep everyone stay safe.
Changes to the Care at Home service times and continuity of care will mean that:
- Morning visits will be anytime between 7am and 11am.
- Lunch and tea visits may be combined based on individual needs.
- Evening visits will be anytime between 6.30pm and 10:30pm.
Service users may not receive care from their usual carer or the carer they were expecting.
Service users who have any symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) should alert the Contact Centre on 03451 441503 in the first instance. If you are self-isolating, which means that you are not having contact with anyone outwith your home according to Government guidance, please let your Home Care Coordinator know as soon as possible. Please be assured that if you suspend any part of your service you will NOT lose you care package.
The Social Work Service including our Care at Home and Resources Service is re-organising the way we do business during the coronavirus epidemic. Due to limited staffing we need to organise and prioritise the services we are providing based on needs and risks.
Social workers will continue to be in touch either by telephone or by visiting homes. Service users who have any symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) are asked to alert their social worker.
Call the Contact Centre/duty team on 03451 441503 who can advise and support service users in difficulty or they need advice or support.
Access to Community Hospitals
We are carefully managing the presence of health and social care workers at the various sites and how they are travelling about. We are applying the same measures in community hospitals. Community hospitals are not closed, though the doors may be locked.
Some of our sites include GP Practices, and as with practices across Fife, are locking doors to ensure people cannot walk-in without having called beforehand.
To support us in this please make a direct call to the area you are requiring access to and make an arrangement in advance so you can get access at an arranged time. Individual arrangements will exist for those families requiring access.
Thank you for your assistance with this.
Pharmacy prescription pick up volunteer service launched
NHS Fife and community pharmacies are working in partnership with public and private sector organisations to deliver medicines to vulnerable, elderly and at risk people. These volunteers will collect prescription medicines from community pharmacies and hospitals and deliver them to people at home. We must stress, that this service is only for those people who need it most e.g. people who are self isolating and have no family member, carer or friends nearby who can collect their medicines. We need your help to ensure the service is prioritised for those who need it most.
Deliveries started on Wednesday 25 March and included delivery of those prescriptions already in community pharmacies assembled and ready for collection.
Please be aware due to the level of demand and the impact on Community Pharmacy teams, repeat prescriptions are likely to take longer to be dispensed, 7-10 working days.
If you need help with medicine collections please contact the service by email at email@example.com or phone: 0800 389 6046
Carers - emergency planning
Unpaid carers play a crucial role helping the most vulnerable people in our communities. But what happens if a carer cannot provide this care. During the Coronavirus epidemic we know that many unpaid carers will struggle to provide the same levels of care and support and how they provide this support will have to change.
Fife Health & Social Care Partnership has prepared some guidance for unpaid carers. We recommend that every carer creates their own emergency plan and if you already have one, update it to respond to the Coronavirus epidemic. It is simple to do and doesn’t require help from others.
Having an emergency plan can help to prevent an emergency from becoming a crisis.
Your emergency plan should set out what care you provide and the details of your caring situation and the relationship you have with the person you are caring for. It will let others know what needs to be done to continue supporting your cared-for person if you get ill.
Once you have written your own emergency plan, it is important that you share it with others in your caring circle. It’s also a good idea to put a copy of the plan somewhere obvious – in a letter rack or pinned to a kitchen notice board. This copy should be in your own home and in the home of the person you care for. You should also leave a copy of your emergency plan in the care at home book of the person you care for.
Additionally, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership has teamed up with Carers UK to offer carers in Fife access to a new app called Jointly. It makes caring for someone a little easier, less stressful and a lot more organised by making communication and coordination simpler between those who are sharing the care. Jointly is free to use by downloading the app from CarersUK and registering with the free access code DGTL6234.
The Fife Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service is continuing to accept self-referrals and referrals from health professionals to offer telephone assessments to people affected by cancer.
Staff are all equipped to work from home and we can signpost people to the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 0000 for further support and advice. We will also be able to signpost to other organisations within Fife where support is available.
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01592 578076.
Dementia care service
The Dementia Friendly Fife Project has been suspended but Alzheimer Scotland is encouraging anyone looking for advice and support to use their 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 or go to www.alzscot.org. The helpline provides support and information if you or a family member need help with things such as shopping or collecting medication.