Communication During COVID

Communication with residents, clients and family members is important at any time, but in a pandemic it is critical. During this COVID-19 pandemic we fully understand how important it is to communicate with our residents and their relatives and with clients who live at home and receive our in-home care services.

The two main ways that we will communicate with residents, families and community care service clients about COVID issues

During this pandemic we like to provide regular updates about relevant issues such as any changes to our visitor policy. We can text you a link that will take you to an updated letter on our website, usually from our CEO Barry Wiggins. In this way we can quickly provide up to date information to a large number of people. In regard to our residential facilities, we have provided 16 such updates in the last five months and this reassures people because they get regular, up to date information and they have an understanding of our perspectives in managing the risks of COVID-19. For us, this has helped build a strong level of support and cooperation from residents and families, which we very much appreciate in these challenging times.

The second way that we communicate with you is through the person that you would normally keep in touch with about other issues. In residential care this is your Facility Manager and with in-home care services it is your Coordinator.

How we will communicate in a crisis situation

If at any time in the future a resident, a client or a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, a communications team will manage the task of providing information to the people who need to be kept informed. In residential care that will be residents and relatives, and for in-home care services it will be the clients of the particular service.

If someone tests positive in residential care:

  • A communications team member will ring that person’s primary family contact with twice daily updates.
  • We will also provide phone contacts so that the primary family contact can ring us.
  • A communications team member will ring the primary contact person of any other residents in that facility with daily updates.
  • We have the capacity to quickly establish a hot line if we need to, and we would expect that this would be available to families of anyone in the unit where any outbreak has occurred. That would be a single number that rings into a team managing the communication with those families.
  • We will establish a family centre on site where concerned family members can come have a coffee, and speak to someone who is capable and supportive. That might be a pastoral care worker or an experienced carer support worker that we employ.
  • We can also make our main chapel available to family visitors, subject to any Health Department restrictions at the time.


Communication with our Staff

We know how important it is to keep our staff informed and in the five months between March and July 2020 we have sent 21 update letters to our staff and another 8 shorter text updates.