25 June 2020
To our Newidafe Community
Subject to the latest State and Federal advice, Newidafe will continue to ensure services and programs are provided as safely, effectively and reliably as possible to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the people we support.
In addition to our in-home support and 1:1 Newidafe programs we have started to cautiously introduce a small amount of group programs to enable more people to return to their programs and friendships.
Over the coming weeks, providing COVID conditions do not worsen and reliant on Port Macquarie being COVID free, we will introduce other programs.
Please be assured that all required and recommended measures are monitored and enforced daily. Cleaning and sanitising is conducted each morning and afternoon and staff and participants have daily temperature checks conducted. Anyone presenting with a temperature higher than 37.9o will be asked to return home.
Any visitors will be required to undertake temperature checking, completion of contact details and sanitise before they fully enter the building. Meetings will be limited to necessary only.
We are still available to offer Short Term Accommodation (Respite) for those interested in a short stay or for families who would like a deserved break. This accommodation is located within Newidafe premises and is cleaned and sanitised in compliance with government advice.
Please contact Pauline@newidafe.com.au (Pauline Barry 02 65835545) if you would like to discuss any of these arrangements.
All the very best of health to all.
Chief Executive Officer
To our Newidafe Community
It has been several weeks since we initiated major changes to the way we provide support to people at Newidafe due to COVID-19. Whilst this was a difficult time and required a substantial re-modelling of the organisation, it was critical that it was done correctly to ensure the health and safety of participants and staff. We are strictly adhering to the Federal and State Governments legislated requirements as well as the Department of Health directives. We also continue to take additional precautionary measures seriously and will continue to maintain safeguards for everyone receiving support.
Whilst we are not operating as we once were for the moment, I can assure everyone that we will very slowly, but cautiously, move toward a return to what our new normal may be. As restrictions are eased we will assess each participant’s request to return to programs individually. Again safety to everyone and adherence to government rules are paramount and this will be our primary consideration. The strategy that we have taken and continue to develop offer the best level of protection to people whilst still offering essential services.
Some of the measures undertaken are:
- Continuing to ensure social distancing is applied whilst following a strict hygiene routine with regular cleaning and sanitising throughout the day and a twice weekly enhanced clean and sanitise, particularly in high touch areas. Temperature checks for in-home and in-house staff and participants is also conducted.
- Restrictions of access by the public to both buildings continue.
- Adherence to 1.5 metre social distancing for staff and participants is monitored continuously. Our buildings have been mapped out to avoid any risk of overcrowding.
- In-home 1:1 essential support continues with staff provided with hygiene/PPE bags. Staff are required to undertake sanitising techniques with clear procedures adopted to protect par
ticipants and themselves from risk of infection. Families are also asked to sanitise prior to support being undertaken. We try and remain uniform with staff and participant supports with the exception of unforeseen circumstances (ie staff absence).
- Essential shopping is offered with an expectation that we may be able to expand on shopping programs as restrictions are lifted. We can also do shopping for people if requested.
- Any flu like symptoms will require staff or participants to stay home and be tested for COVID-19. They are unable to return until full clearance is obtained.
- Programs have required a little bit of creative thinking with a new detailed schedule of support individually developed, Some examples of programs now include several virtual tours, ie zoos, museums and art galleries all over the world. Morning Zumba classes are conducted as well as fishing, cooking, gardening, science experiments, virtual gaming and art and craft projects.
Staying in Touch:
- We delivered essential supplies to some participants and their families over the Easter break with goods such as toilet paper, sanitiser, pasta, tin food, tissues and snacks.
- We have been keeping in contact with some of our participants via Facetime, emails or phone calls.
- We have posted information to families and place details on Facebook and our Website www.newidafe.com.au
We will continue to look for ways to assist other people to return to programs during this time. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Finally, can I thank our participants, families, office and support staff for their assistance and encouragement during this challenging period. The sincerity shown from all involved as well as the effort from staff and families to assist and respond to the changes that were made is testament to the willingness and readiness in allowing our small service to continue.
As we look ahead to our new normal our blessings are with you all and a wish from us for all of you to remain safe.
Keep looking after each other.
Debbie Dyke, CEO
To our Newidafe Community,
Changes to Supports effective 30 March 2020
We sincerely apologise that we cannot deliver this initial news to you in person however it is important that we notify you of the changes that will be occurring as at 30 March 2020 and will be reassessed on a regular basis.
We have been contacting families today and will continue to do so over the next couple of days.
Due to the sudden escalation of the COVID-19 virus, and the increased restrictions implemented by the Federal and State Governments, we must significantly reduce participant access to the centre and community to secure the health and safety of the affected participants and employees who work directly with them.
As a result of the above, we have had to make the difficult decision to extensively reduce the number of participants that are attending the centre and accessing the community. We will still be providing some level of support to participants that have critical needs and we will communicate this to families and carers by the end of this week.
We are doing all that we reasonably can to make alternative arrangements for the affected participants, with a view to returning as many of our participants back to Newidafe as quickly as possible.
Although current supports will cease for the time being, we are offering 1:1 essential support for participants. If you require this support you will need to contact Pauline BarryWe are saddened to have to make this decision and will do all that we can to bring services back as soon as possible. on 6583 5545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to communicate with you over the next few days in relation to the changing situation.
Newidafe has not worked in this environment, so we are taking it one day at a time, knowing the need for emotional support is more important then ever.
Take care everyone, stay safe and check in with those around you and keep in contact.
Update as at 23 March 2020
To our Newidafe Community
We want to share an update regarding COVID-19.
We have received many requests this week for changes to programs and essential supports. I want to provide you with ways that we are implementing strategies and remaining vigilant in a way that reduces risk to people.
Newidafe is an essential service and we want to ensure that we are meeting NSW Health Guidelines, Quality & Safeguard policy and above else provide the absolute protection and safety of people with disability.
COVID-19 Response Plan
An immediate pandemic response plan has been activated to provide protection and reassurance to participants and staff.
This is a guide and will change to meet the unique circumstances of this pandemic and advice issued by health experts.
This plan is a guide and tailored to actions. Examples of many of these actions are:
- Regular reviews of current supports and offer alternative supports.
- Provide regular updates to participants/families on any changes that occur.
- Pandemic Coordinator assigned
- Cancellation of participants attending community group events
- Sanitising and social distancing practices implemented (sanitising several times a day)
- Training for all staff on Infection Prevention and Hygiene.
As always, the health and safety of our participants and staff remain our highest priority.
To date Newidafe have introduced the following over the past week:
- Newidafe are offering 1:1 support to anyone provided in-home if requested (This includes providing a delivery service if required)
- Program changes: all group programs in larger community settings have ceased immediately with alternate programs developed (virtual reality gaming to assist in replacing community programs)
- Public transport stopped with Newidafe offering alternate transport
- Newidafe offering to take people early morning shopping or doing the shopping for participants
- For vulnerable people needing assistance we have put together an essentials bag with supplies such as toilet paper, sanitiser, pasta, tissues etc.
- Non-essential events, meetings and workshops have been cancelled. We can, however, arrange video conference or phone links.
- Social distancing of 1.5 metres immediately implemented.
- Minimal physical contact with staff/participants (i.e. handshakes, high fives) but encouraging elbow bumps.
- Additional cleaning process frequency increased to several times a day, particularly in high touch areas.
- All staff to practice safe hygiene whilst encouraging and showing participants to do the same. This includes coughing into elbow, PPE, hand washing and sanitising. Signs are posted all through both buildings.
- All PPE equipment supplied i.e. masks, aprons, gloves, wipes and other sanitising products.
- Installing covered toilet roll holders and larger toilet rolls limiting contact.
- Ceasing outside members of the public entering the buildings
- Increase stock of additional supplies (i.e. toilet paper, sanitisers, hand cleaners, hospital grade disinfectant etc)
- All staff completed an eLearning infection Prevention and Hygiene course.
- Flu vaccinations organised on-site for all staff that wish to participate (encouraging all staff) for Friday 27 March. Newidafe will cover the costs associated to this.
- Colour coded cleaning systems for the purpose of infection and bacteria control.
- Families asked to keep people home if temperatures rise above 37.9o or if the participant is unwell. Staff are required to do the same.
- Purchase of additional thermometers. If anyone presents with a temperature of over 37.9o they will have to return home.
- Support participants in their home if socially isolated and for participants with comorbidities.
- Development of staff collection and drop off schedule to minimise cross infection.
- Critical function roles and strategies to be allocated in case of shutdown.
- In the case of shutdown welfare checks to be conducted.
- Staff movements managed through rostering and coordination.
- A recovery phase to restore all business and functions in transitioning back to normal services has been developed.