Sheffield-based care provider significantly ahead of the UK on carer vaccinations
Publishing the findings of a snapshot survey, United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) reported that just under a third (32%) of in-home care staff in England have been vaccinated against COVID-19. But Dan Archer from local in-home care provider Visiting Angels was shocked as this UK picture was revealed.
“It’s true that vaccination availability differs across the country, but I believe having our carers vaccinated as early as possible can only improve the situation for our vulnerable clients, and we’ve worked closely with Burncross Surgery in Chapeltown to make that happen. We already have 98% of our carers vaccinated with their first dose and we’ve provided a free of charge, COVID-secure, patient transport service to anyone in South Yorkshire who is concerned about missing their vaccination appointment,” said Dan.
The Visiting Angels team isn’t only ahead of the curve when it comes to vaccinations, they’ve also taken testing more seriously than the national guidelines require. The Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, Care Quality Commission and the Association of Directors of Public Health expect care staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 to complete 10 days of self-isolation before returning to work.
“Our carers at Visiting Angels must also return a negative test before they can return to work.
It seemed like the only logical and responsible process to undertake to ensure the safety of our staff and clients,” said Dan.
The UKHCA survey, conducted on January 27-29 with 379 home care providers responding, covered 111 of the 151 Upper Tier authorities with responsibility for adult social care in England. The sample represents employers of 27,210 in-home care workers, the majority (95%) of whom were in organisations mostly delivering ‘hourly’ or ‘visiting’ home care. The remaining 5% were working for ‘live-in’ home care providers.
Visiting Angels launched in Sheffield in late 2017, the first at-home care provider in the region to commit to being carer-centric. Dan, 47, is from Sheffield himself and made the decision to join the care industry after he witnessed, first-hand, how damaging an unreliable and poor-quality care service can be – not just for the recipient, but for their family and friends too.
Visiting Angels is currently supporting 120 clients and employs a team of just over 100 caregivers and office staff. For three years, the passion of the company’s values for creating a better environment for carers has delivered enormous mutual benefit for both carers and clients.
“As the government struggles to cope with the huge task of getting this pandemic under control, it’s up to businesses and people like us in our communities to set an example. Whether that’s on willingness to receive vaccinations or best practice levels of hygiene control, our team of carers want to lead the way.”
For more information, visit www.visiting-angels.co.uk/southyorks