How we’re responding to the COVID-19 outbreak

*Last updated 31 March 2020*

During what we know is a bit of a worrying time for everyone, we’d just like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to help keep the people we support and our staff safe in response to the UK outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

 

Things are changing so quickly, so we’re taking things day-by-day, solving problems as we go. We can’t be certain of what the coming weeks and months will hold, but one thing we can be absolutely certain about is that the people we support are our number one priority. 

 

We’re able to run some of our services as usual, but others we’ve had to take the difficult decision to close for the time being, so we can make sure the people we support and our staff are safe. You can see a full update about what’s going on with each of our services on this page. As we’re having to make decisions day-by-day, we’ll keep this page updated with the latest information.

 

This page will also tell you about the safety precautions we have in place at the moment in each of our services one by one, and what to do if you use our services and you, someone you support or someone in your family has or suspects they may have COVID-19. 

 

If you use PSS services and you, someone you support or someone in your family has symptoms of COVID-19 

 

If you or someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19 (shortness of breath, a continuous dry cough and a fever) and any of you use our services, please follow NHS advice and stay home for seven days if you live alone, or 14 days if you live with other people. 

 

If you or a member of your family use our services and have COVID-19 symptoms, or if someone you support uses our services and has COVID-19 symptoms, please let us know. This again is to make sure we can keep our staff and the people we support safe. 

 

How we’re keeping our staff and the people we support safe

Since the Government has advised us not to have contact with people unless it’s absolutely essential, we’ve made changes to how we’re providing support. Most of our group and one-to-one sessions are now happening over the phone, on emails or on video chats. That way, we can keep providing you with a really highquality service, but also keep you and our staff as safe as possible. Thanks to technology and the good old phone, even if you’re in self-isolation, we’re still here for you.

 

For services that will keep on running as usual, like Supported Living, we’re asking all of our staff to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water. We’re also encouraging the people we support to do the same. Our Supported Living houses are always kept really clean, but our teams are putting extra elbow grease in to make things as hygienic as possible.

 

We won’t be coming to work if we (or any of the people we live with) have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

 

As you will have seen from the guidance we’ve given above, we’re also asking anyone who uses our services to let us know if they have symptoms so we can keep track of any risk.

 

Right now all of our office-based staff are working from home, but they’re still available as usual if you need to get in touch; just give us a call or an email in the usual way and we’ll be there.

 

We know how important it is that we react quickly to any changes that may pose a risk to the people we support and our staff; and we’ve got solid plans in place for each of our services that set out what we’ll do next if the virus spreads further.

 

Everyone at PSS is pulling together, determined to make this difficult situation work as best we can. Thank you so much for all of your support and patience while we, like many other organisations all across the country, navigate the storm. Our teams and our Shared Lives carers are absolutely amazing – and we’re going to be taking our fighting spirit to do whatever we can to get through this, together, just as we have at PSS for the last 101 years.

 

Updates on each of our services

We’re going to keep you updated about what’s happening at each of our services on this page. If you, someone you support or a member of your family uses our services and you want to know the latest news on any changes to our services, please check this page.

 

*Last updated 31 March 2020*

 

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Wellbeing Centres 

 

We’re no longer providing face-to-face support at our Wellbeing Centres for the time being so that we can keep you and our team as safe as possible, but we’re still going to support you. Our support sessions will be going ahead virtually, so we can be here for you even if you’re self-isolating.

 

We’re going to be in touch with all of the people we support next week to find out how you’d like us to support you best – whether that’s phone calls, emails or texts.

 

We’re also going to be using our blog, upbeatblog.me, to continue our timetable of activities daily – things like relaxation sessions, anxiety management, creative arts, poetry and singing. That will help us all keep connected, occupied and inspired.

 

If you have any questions, worries or concerns, or if you want to report a potential or confirmed case of COVID-19 to us, please drop our service manager Nicky a line: 0151 708 0415 or email nicky.mcgovern@pss.org.uk

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Family Visitors’ Centre at HMP Altcourse 

 

Our Family Visitors’ Centre at HMP Altcourse is now closed.

 

To support those who have a loved one at HMP Altcourse, we’ve launched a brand new COVID-19 Family Support Line, which is now open from 10am to 3pm, seven days a week.

 

Call: 0151 521 6213 or 07595 863154.

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Supported Living 

 

We’re pleased to say we’re continuing to support people as usual in our Supported Living service.

 

We’re supporting people to stay indoors and follow Government guidelines about social distancing.

 

If any of our staff become ill, we’re going to be bringing in staff from our other services that may have been closed. That means you might see a few new friendly faces around and about – but don’t worry, everyone who comes to support with you will be a fully trained PSS support worker who will be very pleased to meet you.

 

If you have any worries, questions or concerns, or if you want to report a potential or confirmed of COVID-19, please give service manager Karol a call. You can get him on 0151 702 5536. Email: karol.zwolinski@pss.org.uk

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Family Impact 

 

We’re not doing our usual Family Impact groups and support sessions face-to-face at the moment, but we’re still going to support you on the phone. We’re here for you as usual – all you have to do is call us.

 

At the moment all of our Family Impact team are working from home to stay safe, but you can still get hold of them on the usual numbers and email addresses.

 

If you’ve any questions, worries or concerns, or if you want to report at potential or confirmed case of COVID-19, have a chat to Rachel:  0151 702 5701 or email: rachel.mccluskey@pss.org.uk

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Community Support 

 

On Friday 20 March, we temporarily closed our Making Days North, Making Days South and Community Support services. This is a really hard decision for us to make because we know how much joy these services bring to so many people and the teams that work there – but we know it’s the right decision to keep people safe. At Making Days, we get together in big groups, which makes it difficult for us to follow the Government’s advice about limiting non-essential social contact, and at Community Support, we get out and about in the community, going to events, hitting the shops or cinemas, and we’re around others. Keeping the people we support safe is absolutely vital – and we can’t put people at risk by keeping these services running. 

 

We’ve contacted the people who use these services and their families to find out if there’s anything else we can do to support them while these services are closed, and we’re doing everything we can to put other plans in place for those who need it. 

 

All of our lovely staff will continue to get paid while the service is closed – and where they can, they’ll be using their skills and talents to support our other services who need their help at the moment.

 

If you’ve any worries, questions or concerns, or if you want to tell us about a potential or confirmed case of COVID-19, call Sarah: 0151 525 2545. Or you can email: sarah.dewick@pss.org.uk

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Shared Lives, Short Breaks and TRIO 

 

We’ve written to all of our Shared Lives carers, Short Breaks carers and TRIO companions with guidance about what to do if they, their families or the person they support shows symptoms of COVID-19. 

 

Our Shared Lives carers are highly-skilled, wonderful people who we trust to do the right thing and make careful decisions with the people they support at heart – but we’re also going to be supporting them to make those choices. We’re ready with a listening ear and our carers can call us at any time to run things by us if they’re unsure, or if they want to problem-solve together.

 

We’re going to continue to support people who use TRIO, Shared Lives and Short Breaks as best we canThis might mean that, instead of group support for the likes of TRIO, we provide support to people on a one-to-one basis instead, while we’re being advised to limit social contact. This will help to keep people safe.

 

If we can’t provide support to someone, we’ll let you know as soon as we can, but we’ll be there for you as much as possible regardless.

 

Your Shared Lives development worker and all of our office staff are currently working from home – but they’re still available for you to chat to as usual. You can contact them via email and on their usual phone number (all of our phones have been diverted to our mobiles). We can also arrange video chats, if that’s something you’d like to do.

 

We’re asking all of our Shared Lives carers, the people we support and their families to let us know if they, a member of their family or someone they support shows symptoms of COVID-19.

 

If you’ve any worries, concerns or questions, or you want to let us know about a potential or confirmed case of COVID-19, please drop your usual Shared Lives development worker a line.

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Prosper 

 

Unfortunately we’ve had to make the decision to cancel and postpone our Prosper groups for the time being, just so we can be sure we’re keeping people safe. We’ll let you know when our service is back up and running again.

 

If you’ve any questions, worries or concerns, or if you want to report at potential or confirmed case of COVID-19, have a chat to Rachel or Annette on 0151 702 5556. 

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Women’s Turnaround  

 

At the moment we’re doing all of our Women’s Turnaround sessions on the phone, to help keep our teams and the people we support safe. We’re still here for you in all the same ways – even if you’re self-isolating.

 

Merseyside CRC staff are now working from home and Eleanor Rathbone House is closed to the public. If you need to speak to someone about your probation appointments,  you can contact your case manager on  01442 295 999.

 

We’ve contacted everyone we support to let them know that their sessions will continue on the phone.

 

If you have any questions, worries or concerns, or if you want to let us know about a potential or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your family, give us call on 0788 9756334 or drop us an emailwomensturnaround@pss.org.uk

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Ruby@Turnaround 

 

If you use our Ruby@Turnaround service, someone from the team will be getting in touch with you to let you know that we’re changing from face-to-face to phone appointments only for the time being. Don’t worry – we’re still here for you in just the same way.

 

If you need to talk to someone about anything, please give us a call: 07714289180 or email Ruby@pss.org.uk

 

Coronavirus update for PSS Making Days – North (Lancaster House, Rice Lane, Walton) and South (Bridge Chapel, Heath Road, Garston) 

 

On Friday 20 March, we temporarily closed our Making Days North, Making Days South and Community Support services. This is a really hard decision for us to make because we know how much joy these services bring to so many people and the teams that work there – but we know it’s the right decision to keep people safe. At Making Days, we get together in big groups, which makes it difficult for us to follow the Government’s advice about limiting non-essential social contact, and at Community Support, we get out and about in the community, going to events, hitting the shops or cinemas, and we’re around others. Keeping the people we support safe is absolutely vital – and we can’t put people at risk by keeping these services running. 

 

We’ve contacted the people who use these services and their families to find out if there’s anything else we can do to support them while these services are closed, and we’re doing everything we can to put other plans in place for those who need it. 

 

All of our lovely staff will continue to get paid while the service is closed – and where they can, they’ll be using their skills and talents to support our other services who need their help at the moment.

 

If you have any questions, worries or concerns, or if you want to let us know about a potential or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your family, give us a call or drop us an email:

 

    • For Making Days North (Lancaster House, Rice Lane, Walton), call Sarah: 0151 525 2545. Or you can email: sarah.dewick@pss.org.uk
    • For Making Days South (Bridge Chapel, Heath Road, Garston), call Julie: 0151 494 2119/0151 494 0747. Or you can email: julie.humphreys@pss.org.uk

 

Coronavirus update from New Leaf Cheshire

 

Our partners over at New Leaf are making some changes, following Public Health England guidance, to how they provide your support.

They are looking at alternatives to face-to-face appointments and group sessions to make sure we continue to offer a high-level of support to you. Please make sure you keep in contact with your mentor to find out the latest information.

They’re encouraging employees and participants to wash their hands at regular intervals throughout the day for a minimum of 20 seconds, including before and after any essential meetings with mentors or advisors.

Everyone who is experiencing a high temperature or new, continuous cough should follow Government guidelines and self-isolate at home for at least seven days, and for households to isolate for 14 days.

The team requests that if you, or someone in your immediate family, are self-isolating, or experiencing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, and you have made arrangements to meet someone on the New Leaf team, please get in touch with your mentor or the central team so they can rearrange it.

New Leaf Cheshire is still accepting people onto the New Leaf programme during this difficult time period.

For more information or if you have any worries, please email newleaf@torus.co.uk or call  01925 452131.

More information

 

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/