12 Jun

Following Graham’s announcement on 3rd June (available here), this is the latest important update on Horizons..

Dear Service User,

As you will be aware, over the last two weeks our teams have been carrying out risk assessments to determine a way forward for our ‘New Provision Offer’. This has been a huge piece of work for our staff and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their continued hard work. Your family will also have been contacted over the past week to complete an individual risk assessment with your staff team. Many of you have already opted to stay at home at this present time, but we fully appreciate that some families are keen to explore how we can support them further over the coming weeks.

Since we last updated you, the R rating for the North West has been published and is currently over ‘1’. With this in mind, we are not yet in a position to re-open Horizons. We have further work to do to prepare the building, we do not currently have the capacity and space to support social distancing for larger groups and we still face many challenges relating to the return to work for our staff teams.

Next Steps

Test 1 – to carefully track the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Oldham and Tameside (and other areas that may be applicable).  We also need to evaluate the “R level” to ensure it is within or around 0.5-0.7.  

We currently receive regular information from Public Health England as well as health colleagues within Oldham and Tameside. The latest information is alarming relating to the number of cases within our towns. The table below shows comparative data for Greater Manchester areas of the number of cases in the 14 days up to 4th June:

Test 2 – to be convinced that testing is available to any member of staff, where it is applicable.  We also need to be assured that we have an appropriate number of suitability qualified and experienced staff members to support the young people. We will promote the initial roll out of the track and trace application for mobile phones. 

Testing is now available to our staff teams, should they display any symptoms of Covid-19, however it can take up to 2 weeks to receive the results of these test. We are still unsure as to the uptake and success of the track and trace service via mobile phones.

Test 3 – to ensure that all our organisations consult upon and instigate a clear strategy and have an implementation plan relating to social distancing.  Our premises must be fit-for-purpose and we must be able to provide necessary services.

We have now established clear guidance for staff and service users relating to social distancing. This includes the implementation of ‘pods’, floor markings and clear signage throughout our building.

Test 4 – to audit all PPE and be assured of its present and future availability.  Where appropriate, staff will have access to relevant training relating to the use of PPE.  All staff and young people will have training and support on applicable health and hygiene techniques (i.e. hand washing, covering mouth when coughing etc.).

We have all appropriate PPE available to our staff teams on all sites. We have also set out clear guidance on the use of PPE within Horizons.

Test 5 – to continue safeguarding and monitoring to protect “vulnerable” staff and young people.  Our full commitment is to keep all our young people and staff safe.

All of our families are contacted regularly and our staff teams continue to support our young people and families with safeguarding matters.

I would like to assure you all that our virtual support offer will continue to be personalised and innovative and we continue to explore ways to enhance this work. We are hoping that in the very near future, some of our staff will be able to lead face to face sessions virtually through the technology that is available to us via iPads. As always, your key staff members will continue to be in regular contact and if you have any further comments, questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us via the usual channels.

Thank you for your continued support.

Take care,

Graham