Is your homecare winter ready?
The winter months can be challenging for vulnerable people living at home, but good contingency planning will help keep your homecare business running this winter so you can keep clients safe and supported.
If you have any concerns about winter or how well you’re meeting the ‘Safe’ KLOE, book a mock CQC inspection to find out where you can make improvements to secure an Outstanding rating at your next inspection.
Taking the time to put a plan in place ahead of any winter disruption is well worth the effort. If you’re hit with unexpected snowfall, flooding or high rates of seasonal sickness, having a plan in place will help to keep services running as smoothly as possible and ensure no one is left without care.
Make sure you’ve thought about the following points:
- Keep informed
Check your emergency plans are up to date, and sign up for severe weather warnings and alerts, such as road closures, so you can stay one step ahead of any disruption. Identify your most vulnerable clients in advance i.e. those without any relatives or neighbours who could step in in an emergency if your care team can’t physically reach them.
- Check supplies
Stock up on essentials to keep clients warm and well-fed if they can’t get out. Discuss keeping a small emergency store of long-lasting food that’s easy to open and prepare with your service users or their family, and basic medical supplies such as painkillers and bandages.
- Check contacts are up to date
Make sure your staff know who to contact if they run into an emergency, including ensuring you have the most up to date details for clients’ next of kin. You may also need to liaise with your local council if you need to visit clients in particularly remote areas to make sure, for example, that paths are gritted. So make sure you know who to contact.
- Plan to mobilise your office
Digitalisation means that it’s easier than ever to run your office remotely if you can’t reach the building or if there’s an outbreak of illness among your staff. Make sure you can access everything you need in the short term, complying with any data privacy and security regulations. You also need a plan for what to do if your management team is out of action, and it’s a good idea to find out which staff might need help to get out and about if they rely on public transport.
- Transport issues
If you own vehicles make sure you equip them with snow tyres or chains, shovels and blankets in case they break down. Your fleet should be fully serviced and up to date with MOTs to keep your staff safe.
- Review your lone working policy
Make sure you can support staff working alone in adverse weather conditions. You are responsible for knowing where everyone is. Think about whether they can walk or cycle to appointments, and ask if anyone has a 4-wheel drive they could use to give other members of the team a lift.
If you want more advice on getting ready for winter or would like to arrange a mock CQC inspection today, get in touch with the team on 0333 444 5344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.