Coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. As coronaviruses have a lipid envelope, a wide range of disinfectants are effective against them. Good infection prevention and control precautions are effective at minimising risk but can never eliminate it.

As COVID-19 has only been recently identified, there is currently limited information about the precise routes of transmission.

In the absence of effective drugs or a vaccine, control of this disease relies on the prompt identification, appropriate risk assessment, management and isolation of possible cases.

Effective infection prevention and control measures, including transmission-based precautions (airborne, droplet and contact precautions) are essential to minimise these risks.  Appropriate cleaning and decontamination of the environment is also essential in preventing the spread of this virus.

Public Health England (2020)

With this in mind and in conjunction with government directives HCB has issued the following guidance:

HCB’s small office-based team are now working from home until such a time as it is safe for us to return to the office. All members of the team have been issued with the equipment they require to complete their roles remotely. Whilst at home, staff will continue to follow advice to prevent the spread of Covid-19 including frequent hand washing and self-isolating within the home should they show any symptoms of the virus.

All HCB case assessment and management will be undertaken via telephone at this time and until guidance is given by the government that it is safe to return to face-to-face assessments. Any planned face-to-face contact will be deferred until such a time and the focus for Case Managers at this stage will be to manage the needs of clients within the restrictions imposed. If any aspect of a sustainable return to work for clients can be managed we will of course undertake this in partnership with the Employer and Employee.

Should any HCB Case Manager have any symptom of, or exposure to possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection they will notify HCB immediately and will follow Public Health England advice on diagnosis and treatment of the infection. They will not undertake any HCB work until they feel well enough to manage their cases effectively.

HCB’s daily operational management activities would highlight very quickly, any risk to our ability to service referrals received, and we would immediately notify our clients, and other stakeholders, with a detailed explanation of the potential drift in SLA’s, and also with remedial activity planned in that event.

As HCB is a small operation, largely staffed by healthcare professionals, we feel sufficiently informed and capable of minimising and mitigating any risk to staff arising from this outbreak. HCB has its own locally based medical officer, (Doctor) who is also helping us to ensure we contain the risk however possible.

We will be closely monitoring the situation and will review our statement and practises on a weekly basis or more frequently should the situation change.


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