Following a meeting with the executive team this week, we have made the decision to form 2 bubbles at Horizons once we reopen. One bubble will be on floor 1 and 2, the second bubble will be on the ground floor. We have decided on 2 bubbles because of the layout of the building and not being able to have a one way system in place above the ground floor. This will mean that the same service users and staff will, as far as possible, stay within their allocated bubble and not mix. I have increased the number of staff trained in first aid and also in the administration of medication to help support this. These changes will mean that some service users will be based on different floors from where they are now. Your key worker will keep you informed of what will be happening.
As you may have seen, the number of positive cases in Oldham over the last week has come down which is good news. We think that the local lockdown in Oldham will continue for another week, so unfortunately next week will be the same as this week. However, if numbers continue to fall, then hopefully the local lockdown restrictions will then be lifted the following week. If that is the case, at that point we would then be looking at starting with a phased opening of Horizons on Monday 7th September. The plan at the moment is to offer all service users who normally attend 4 or 5 days per week, 2 full days. Those normally accessing 1, 2 or 3 days per week will be offered 1 full day. This would be within smaller groups.
We would then review the situation weekly and, if everything is going in the right direction, increase the days and numbers each week. This will also give us the opportunity to offer new service users at least 1 day per week to start off with. Our new service users will mainly come from The Learning Centre – at the moment we are looking at around 20 former Learning Centre students, plus 4 young people joining us from outside the New Bridge Trust. Unfortunately, due to Covid, a lot of the transition work with this group could not take place but we are hoping to work with our service users, their families and social workers to try and make the transition as smooth as possible, under the circumstances.
Although I know that the timescale is not ideal and what you wanted to hear, I do feel that for the first time in a while, things seem to be moving in the right direction. Your key worker will be contacting you over the next few days to talk about our plans and discuss days etc.