Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve reprioritised our services to make sure we can continue to deliver direct or indirect care and support to everyone who uses our services. We’ve had to take a risk-based approach and the priority has rightly been supporting those who have no alternative care and support in place, with the aim for this to be delivered in their home environment wherever possible.   

Many people have received all their care and support from parents, family members and carers and we recognise how demanding, tiring and anxious this will have been for them at times.

We’ve kept in regular contact with all the people who use our services to make sure they’re as safe and happy as they possibly can be in these challenging circumstances and still feel connected to and cared for by Vivo and our staff. We’ve continued to review the care and support provided for each person and new support arrangements have been put in place very quickly whenever we’ve needed to.

We’re very proud of the way we’ve managed the changes we originally put in place at the start of the lockdown period. Nobody using our services has contracted COVID-19 and the four people who have displayed symptoms over the past 14 weeks have had dedicated support in isolation to make sure they’ve made a full recovery.

As national guidance is beginning to change and we’re fully aware the current pressures on our staff, people using our services and carers and families can’t be maintained indefinitely, we need to slowly, safely and securely begin to reopen our services in a way that reflects the ongoing risks from COVID-19.

Changes to Vivo services (July 2020 onwards)

While we’re putting new plans in place throughout July, we’ll still look at what each person needs on a case-by-case basis and make sure the right care and support is put in place for them, minimising the risk of COVID-19 for them and others.

With all the changes we’re planning, we’ll continue to follow the latest Government and NHS guidance. The safety of the people using our services, our staff and everyone else connected to Vivo is always our priority. All changes are being put in place with the support and agreement of Cheshire West and Chester Council. We will also constantly review our approach to make sure it remains the most appropriate way to deliver safe and high-quality care and support to everyone who depends on Vivo.

Learning disability day services

  • We’ll reopen all learning disability day services, but we’ll speak to all people using our services and their carers and families about our new service offer. This will be in line with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s new Strategy for Learning Disabilities, which sets out an approach for modernising and improving day services across west Cheshire. Access to more flexible day services will be available.
  • A limited number of staff and people using services will be allowed in each building at one time. We’ll work with the Council’s learning disability social work teams to offer these places to those who need them most.
  • We’ll set up hubs for staff and people using services so different groups aren’t unnecessarily mixing with one another.
  • We’ll revise our schedule of daytime activities and look to increase access to outdoor activities.
  • All visitors will be restricted, and direct public access will be stopped. For all visitors, relevant hygiene procedures will be put in place for their visit.
  • We’ll invest in technology so more activities can be accessed virtually, and people can easily stay in contact with others.

Respite services

  • We’ll reopen all respite services, but we’ll speak to all people using our services and their carers and families about our new service offer. Access to more flexible services will be available.
  • A limited number of staff and people using services will be allowed in each building at one time. We’ll work with the Council’s learning disability social work teams to offer these places to those who need them most.
  • We’ll set up hubs for staff and people using services so different groups aren’t unnecessarily mixing with one another.
  • We’ll revise our schedule of daytime activities and look to increase access to outdoor activities through Vivo’s own transport or a dedicated staff team.
  • All visitors will be restricted, and direct public access will be stopped. For all visitors, relevant hygiene procedures will be put in place for their visit.
  • We’ll invest in technology so more activities can be accessed virtually, and people can easily stay in contact with others.

Older people’s services

  • Curzon House has continued to successfully deliver respite care (up to 10 places), emergency placements and residential care for all its permanent residents. Our policy has been to refuse any referrals unless they have received a confirmed negative COVID-19 test and this policy will continue.
  • Our policy around visitors will now be relaxed. Family and friends will be welcome at Curzon House, but an appropriate risk assessment, infection control measures, social distancing and isolation procedures will be put in place.
  • A survey for people using older people’s day services is now underway to look at what future support they’d like. We’ll work with the Council’s social work teams to offer places to those who need them most.
  • A phased reopening of day services will begin at Leftwich Green, Abbotts Wood and Coronation Centre, but a more flexible and personalised range of support is being developed to suit the needs of each person. Day services at Curzon House won’t be reopened at present because of a higher risk of cross contamination and challenges around social distancing, with a wider range of care services already being delivered
  • We’ll invest in technology so more activities can be accessed virtually, and people can easily stay in contact with others.

Shared Lives

  • We’ll revisit the current arrangements and agree on a case-by-case basis how care and support might alter. This will be driven by the needs of the people being supported and prioritising the safety of the individual and carer at all times.

Supported living services

  • Throughout the pandemic, care and support has been delivered 24-hours-a-day from supported accommodation to all residents who wanted to stay in their home.
  • These services will continue along the same lines but, as part of the review of day services, we’ll continue to explore and support more flexible ways of meeting the needs of all individuals. We’ll be flexible about support to individuals in their home and accessing day services, including visiting these services at different times with different activities and different locations, making the most of local community facilities.

Little Roodee Café and Stanlaw Café

  • We’re keen to open these services as soon as possible, but only when it is safe to do so. They are valuable facilities and bring a rewarding experience to people using our services.
  • We’ll make sure all best practise is followed, including social distancing, floor markings and customer flows, hygiene and infection control, bio fogging facilities, public messages, PPE and more.

If you have any questions about the changes being put in place by Vivo from July onwards, please email: communications@vivocarechoices.co.uk.