ECHO takes the health and wellbeing of our Services Users and staff very seriously. We are putting a robust plan of action together to take all necessary steps to limit the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
The following advice from ECHO will highlight the steps the organisation is taking across its sites. Please read this before visiting one of our services.
For comprehensive information about the coronavirus itself, please visit either the Gov.UK or NHS websites, or call NHS 24 (Scotland only).
Before visiting a ECHO site
ECHO services remain open to visitors, but we are taking steps to minimise the risk of infection to our Service Users and colleagues. Before visiting , please consider the following:
- Is your visit essential? We are currently advising visitors to only enter an ECHO service if it is necessary to do so. If you can delay your visit or achieve its purpose via another method(i.e. through a phone call or video call) please do so.
- Are you currently feeling unwell? Please do not visit a ECHO service for any reason if you currently feel unwell, particularly if you have a cough, a fever or high-temperature, or have shortness of breath.
- Have you recently been abroad or been in close contact with someone who has? Please do not visit a ECHO service if you, a partner or a dependent has recently returned from a Category 1 or Category 2 country, as defined on the NHS website.
If you are unsure whether you should visit, or if there are exceptional circumstances that mean a visit is necessary despite the conditions above, please speak to the Home/Service Manager before visiting the service.
How to safely visit a ECHO service:
Having considered the above information, if you are still planning to visit a it is important that you do so safely and in a way that minimises the risk of infection to our Service Users and colleagues. Therefore, before visiting and whilst on site, please consider the following:
- Hand washing. It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before you visit the service, and regularly whilst you are at the site. Please make sure you wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, using either hot water and soap or 60% alcohol sanitiser gel.
- Coughs and sneezes. We understand there are many reasons why someone may have a cough or sneeze. However, whilst visiting a site please make sure you have a tissue with you at all times so that you can catch a cough or sneeze. Please then immediately dispose of the tissue in the bin. Remember –Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.
Protecting our Service Users and colleagues
Please be assured that ECHO is treating this matter with the utmost seriousness and comprehensive contingency plans are in place in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at a service.
However, it is important to bear in mind that every year ECHO prepares to respond to infectious diseases, including a severe flu outbreak, and therefore, whilst this illness is new, it is very much business as usual for how we safeguard the health of our Service Users and colleagues.
We have already taken action, including working to secure the medical and other supplies we may need in the event of an outbreak in a service, and developing the policies and protocols needed to make sure ECHO can continue to provide high-quality and person centred care if or when coronavirus becomes more widespread in the UK.
All Home/Service Managers and colleagues have been informed of the steps we are taking and how they can help prevent the spread of infection. This includes regular hand washing, installing additional prominent signage about handwashing, and completing our infection control training.
ECHO will be monitoring and reacting to the latest guidance issued by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, the NHS, and public health bodies.
This page will be updated to reflect the latest information and advice including any additional steps we are taking to protect Service Users and colleagues, as and when this is required.