Coronavirus (COVID-19)

ECHO takes the health and wellbeing of our Services Users and staff very seriously. We have put a COVID-19 Response Procedure and a robust Plan of Action together for each service. This enable us to take all the necessary steps to limit the spread of the outbreak and safeguard our Service Users and staff teams as much as possible. We are also following all the available guidance from the government and our regulators.

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 service
ECHO services remain open to only essential visitors. 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 an ECHO service for any reason if you currently feel unwell, particularly if you have a cough, a fever or high temperature, have a loss of taste or smell or have shortness of breath.
  • If you are living with, or have come into contact with, someone that is unwell recently we would also request that you don’t proceed with your visit.

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.
  • You may be asked to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) whilst you visit which may include masks and gloves. Please co-operate with wearing these if asked or your visit may not be able to go ahead. If you are asked to wear PPE this is because we have received guidance instructing us that this is required.

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 and serious, 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 securing 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 and support.

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, wearing PPE 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.