Message from the Board
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
HCO’s response to COVID-19
26 May 2020
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:
- Communicating frequently with Staff about the COVID-19 and what they can do to keep themselves and Clients well
- Developing our COVIDSafe plan
- Developing guidelines around monitoring of visitors
- Mandatory online infection control and hygiene measures refresher training for all Staff
- Advanced training for Team Leaders and other key 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 Australian Government Department of Health website provides advice for people living with disability on Coronavirus.
- The Australian Government website providing information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters
The COVIDSafe app helps with contacting people that might have been exposed to Coronavirus
- The NDIS website has a FAQ page dedicated to the Coronavirus situation.
- NDIS participant fact sheet: What to expect from providers and support workers
- NDIS participant fact sheet (easy read version): What to expect from providers and support workers
- Download an Easy-read file – Stay at home
- Vulnerable people, their friends or loved ones can register for the Telecross REDi COVID-19 service by phone 1800 188 071 or register online at register.redcross.org.au.
- Domestic violence and family support services PDF
- Handy tips for coping with Coronavirus anxiety PDF
- Skylight mental health brochure
- 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
- Australian Government information sheet on Social Distancing
- Australian Government information sheet on Self Isolation
- Reminder that HCO has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential counselling or advice.
Downloadable PDF file with illustrations showing the process of safely putting on, and then removing protective gloves.
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.
Going shopping for food is something we all need to do.
But for now, with Coronavirus, we need to take extra steps to avoid getting sick.
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.