COVID-19 (COVONORVIRUS) AN UPDATE FROM ALTERNATIVE CARE SERVICES

At Alternative Care Services the health, wellbeing and safety of our clients, staff and partners is our top priority – every single day.

The situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to develop, and as of Friday, March 13th, the UK government decided that they are no longer testing for the COVID-19 virus and are asking anyone who has symptoms to self-isolate straight away.

Working with our local health team doctor, we have developed a policy to support our clients, our staff and partners to ensure we are protecting and supporting everyone we work with. Our policy closely follows the NHS and UK Government guidelines set out for care providers.

I would like to remind you that if you believe you may have been exposed to the virus must still notify NHS 111 immediately.
We also ask that you notify us immediately, if you have any symptoms and think you may have the virus.
Again, we’d like to remind you of the symptoms, which may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:

• cough
• difficulty in breathing
• fever

The self-isolation period is 7 days, but the NHS have said that you must have two days without a fever before you are able to leave self-isolation.

If you have the virus, but are not critical the procedure we can still provide you support.
Our staff will wear gloves, aprons, face masks and eye coverings when supporting you.
We can also go shopping for you and bring to your home. However, all waste (yours and our PPE) will have to remain in your home until the self-isolation period is over.

We are available to speak over the phone or via email at any time of the day or night.

If you have symptoms or believe you may have been infected and have any of the pre-existing illnesses:
Respiratory illnesses
Diabetes
Heart disease
Asthma
COPD
Cancer
Cystic fibrosis
PID
or anyone who is not capable of any self-care or are in a very weakened or critical state we will:

We will call emergency services to be administered into the hospital for urgent medical attention. We will call for an ambulance transfer you to a hospital, and inform the ambulance call handler of the potential links to COVID-19.

Following the patient transfer to hospital, we will leave your home and advise that no visitors go to your home as it should be closed and should not be used until further advice is provided by the local Health Protection Team.

We will also contact:
Our local health protection team
Public Health England
The CQC

What will happen if our staff become infected:

If a member of staff is concerned they have COVID-19 they will contact 111 immediately and follow the NHS guidance. They will contact us (ACS) immediately, self-isolate immediately and follow the PHE guidance. They will not visit or care for individuals until safe to do so.

We will also alert you immediately if our staff have become effected and you have had any contact with them.

While staff are self-isolating we will provide cover with another member of staff and we may have to use staff from another agency.

Your health and safety is our number one priority, as is the health and safety of our staff. We are available to speak any time you need us and will support you through these uncertain times.

Why do we need LGBTQI+ care?

We have been asked on many occasions why we think there’s a need for LGBT care.

At Alternative Care Services we believe it’s about creating safe and respectful spaces for older LGBTQI+ people, especially when they’re at home.

The need for (and lack of) safe spaces for the older LGBT generation  is an issue that has been discussed by many organisations for many years.

In fact, there have been multiple studies (Marie Curie Hiding Who I Am being one) that have revealed that senior LGBTQI people live in fear of discrimination when receiving care.

Another report, conducted by Stonewall (Unhealthy Attitudes 2015) shows that a large proportion of healthcare staff are not confidently equipped with the necessary skills to provide thorough care for LGBT people, elderly or otherwise.

We believe that traditional models of care in Britain are letting down the older generation of LGBTQI+ people, and this is where we are taking a stand.

 

What Alternative Care Services does:

At Alternative Care Services we offer the very best, non-discriminatory care and support for all of our service users.

We employ staff from the LGBTQI+ community, in fact 90 percent of our staff identify as LGBTQI+.

That’s important as we believe that they are more likely to be able to respond to the specific care needs of an older generation of LGBTQI+ people.

We also make sure they are fully equipped to meet all needs of all our clients.  Ultimately, we’ve employed people from the community to serve their community.

The Alternative Care Services teamWe believe there are fundamental issues within a care system that simply doesn’t acknowledge the existence of the LGBT community.

This ‘invisibility’ happens at the outset of the care process as all the referral forms are heteronormative, so social services doesn’t even know how to offer LGBT-focused services. There is no way of offering it.

 

What can be done to end the discrimination against the LGBTQI+ community?

We think there needs to be a change within the care system at large to futureproof the services for younger generations.
In an ideal world, everyone would live together in harmony, there would be no phobias, discrimination or bias.

 

Why choose LGBTQI+ care?

This may one day be a reality, but until then, Alternative Care Services will provide the very best personally-centered care and support to all with kindness, dignity, respect and understanding, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI).

Our aim is to enable all to live satisfying; independent lives while maintaining values and identities.

Providing exceptional care to the LGBTQI+ community is what we do, because you’re not an afterthought, you’re our first thought.
Here’s a list of our full unique services and all of our costs are transparent.

What it means to be LGBTQI+

There are many types of sexual orientations and gender identities, so we explain what they all stand for:

L – Lesbian: a woman who is attracted to other women

G – Gay: a man who is attracted to other men or broadly people who identify as homosexual

B – Bisexual: a person who is attracted to both men and women

T – Transgender: a person whose gender identity is different from the sex the doctor put down on their birth certificate

Q – Queer: originally used as a discriminatory term, more recently, the term is used by people who are not heterosexual and/or not cisgender and people who reject traditional gender identities and seek a broader and deliberately ambiguous alternative to the label.

Q – Questioning: a person who is still exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity

I – Intersex: a person whose body is not definitively male or female. This may be because they have chromosomes which are not XX or XY or because their genitals or reproductive organs are not considered “standard”

A – Allies: a person who identifies as straight but supports people in the LGBTQQIAAP community

A – Asexual: a person who is not attracted in a sexual way to people of any gender

P – Pansexual: a person whose sexual attraction is not based on gender and may themselves be fluid when it comes to gender or sexual identity