Update to HCO services
Unfortunately it has become neccessary to cancel both the Week Ender and Out & About groups until further notice. Each participant will be contacted individually to explain the situation and we will do our best to keep everyone informed during these trying times.
Message from the Board
The HCO Board of Directors met on March 19 via conference call to discuss the HCO Pandemic Response Plan developed by Sue Horsnell and the Executive team and unanimously endorsed its implementation. We will continue to monitor the situation and support Sue and her team as needed.
We are aware of the incredible efforts of our staff, and indeed our clients and families, working together in these challenging times. As an organisation we will always put the safety and well-being of our people first.
The board was also very keen to pass on our personal gratitude to you for your continued dedication to the people we support at HCO.
Sam Pearse on behalf of The HCO Board
Information about HCO’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
As you would be aware Australia is facing significant challenges in managing the spread of the virus known as COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We take this opportunity to assure you that HCO is closely monitoring Health Department and other Government information and applying this across our services and in our planning processes.
We have implemented several positive actions already including:
- Monitoring overseas travel by staff and actively planning for their safe return to work
- Communicating frequently with staff about the COVID-19 and what they can do to keep themselves and clients well
- Mandatory online infection control and hygiene measures refresher training for all staff
- Planning for contingencies in the event we have a number of staff and/or clients become unwell (this will also help us in the upcoming flu season)
- Sourcing adequate stock of hygiene and infection control supplies
We will need your help over the coming days, weeks and months in managing any issues from COVID-19 in the community. For example, if a person we support becomes unwell with flu like symptoms it is important that we are notified and they do not attend services until recovered for their own well-being and that of others.
We will work very hard to ensure services are delivered as agreed across all service areas but some changes may be necessary in relation to location, timing, the activities undertaken and or the staff member who attends. We will communicate about any changes necessary with you.
If you are feeling unwell or a person you support is unwell, the current health advice is to phone your GP clinic or the Health Direct Hotline on 1800 0202 080 to discuss what is the most appropriate thing to do, but of course, in an emergency call 000.
We will communicate further with you as more information becomes available. We are very mindful of the consequences for families and Clients when services are disrupted so we will act in a very considered way but one that puts the safety and well-being of Clients and Staff first.
Please do not hesitate to contact your Team Leader/Coordinator if you have any questions at all.
Further information and handy links
- The Australian Government Department of Health website provides general information on Coronavirus.
- The NDIS website has a FAQ page dedicated to the Coronavirus situation.
- Handy tips for coping with Coronavirus anxiety PDF
- The Australian Government Treasury’s economic response to the Coronavirus, including links for financial support here.
- You can also phone the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. This service runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
- SA Health have produced a “What should you do...” flowchart, download here
- At this time it’s vital to understand how to keep yourself and the people you support healthy. An online module can assist with practical strategies for preventing and controlling infections. Note that this is mandatory for all HCO staff. Supporting People to Stay Infection Free
- For details on Centrelink assistance in relation to Casual Staff, visit the Australian Government Services Australia website
- Australian Government information sheet on Social Distancing
- Australian Government information sheet on Self Isolation
- Priority assistance for vulnerable people – food and groceries
- Reminder that HCO has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential counselling or advice.
Hand washing technique
Just a reminder that hand hygiene is our biggest defence against infection spread in our services. This clip is another resource to assist you in washing your hands appropriately while on shift.
COvid-19 Specific Enquiries
We acknowledge the Peramangk People and the Kaurna People as the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work. We respect their cultural beliefs, their Elders past and present and their spiritual connection with Country.