18 August 2020
KeyRing’s Response to the Covid 19 Crisis
In March 2020 KeyRing responded quickly to the progress of the virus, and the National Lockdown.
We developed Covid 19 specific organisational risk assessments which reviewed our practice and procedures in light of the new ways we needed to work. These were developed in conjunction with the Board, the leadership team and ultimately discussed with every employee. Each employee then amended, with their manager, their Personal Safety Plan to account for all individual risk levels.
Teams then reviewed every Member they support and assessed each person in terms of their risk from the virus and the support they would therefore require going forwards, including buying shopping and/or delivering of medication etc. All decisions were recorded on our centralised system and our usual practice of compiling file notes from every conversation, continued.
The teams also keep a live record of any Members, volunteers or staff who are diagnosed with Covid 19 and their status in terms of isolation, hospitalisation etc.
We reviewed the ways that we worked on a continual basis and in full lockdown most support was done via phone contact. However, we spoke to Members much more frequently so we were able to intervene if necessary. We also moved to provide things on line such as network hubs.
KeyRing already were in a strong position as we mostly remote work, with a few staff based in offices. All our systems can be remotely accessed securely, so we were able to transition very quickly to a workforce entirely based at home without significant additional cost or disruption.
This meant we were already using remote meeting technology within the organisation so we began to use this more widely with all teams and with Members.
We have been reviewing the provision of PPE throughout and have provided the required items in line with government guidance, which at times were very difficult to acquire as we were not a CQC registered provider.
As the lockdown has been released we have moved away from mainly telephone support, back to face to face support following at all times the current government guidance.
Each week we have held meetings?with the entire leadership team to review the changing landscape, put in place our response and plan where possible for future changes.? This has been particularly beneficial in allowing us to respond in a timely manner to all issues which were arising.? From this meeting a weekly briefing?for all staff and volunteers?was issued, which has proved very popular. Learnings for KeyRing which we will apply going forwards:
- The weekly leadership meeting is now part of our ongoing practice as it has proved extremely beneficial, for reasons beyond Covid 19. Whilst we met regularly before it has shown that an hour per week really supports us to feel connected as a leadership team, and to have really valuable strategic and operational conversations. The leadership team incorporates Operations, Human Resources, Communications, Finance, and the Senior Management team.
- We are carrying out a project to consult staff as to what they would like to see continued as a positive legacy from Covid 19 and we will implement some specific changes or practices going forwards as a result, for example;
- The use of technology with teams has proved very popular and has helped people feel connected. As many of our employees work out in the community and don’t regularly see colleagues. This will therefore continue.
- Members, in many cases, have taken the lead in some of the online forums which we have made possible through provision of the technology. For instance a weekly quiz and bingo session are being held and Members lead these sessions.