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Adjustments to the work of Dyfodol in the light of the coronavirus outbreak - Updated 08 April 2020


Annual Report 2019-2020



As you know, we are in the midst of an unprecedented global COVID-19 outbreak (coronavirus). The government is giving daily updates regarding the situation. Below is the advice issued on 16th March:

• Avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres
• Work from home if possible.
• Cease all "unnecessary" visits to friends and relatives in care homes.
• Only use the NHS "where we really need to" - and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible
• Stay at home for 14 days if one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever.

By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be "largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks".

Additionally, on Wednesday 18th March, the Welsh Government announced the extended closure of schools from 20th March 2020.

These measures present us with a huge challenge; our service is people-focused. We rely on face to face interactions with service users, staff from a range of other agencies and settings and others to help people achieve stability, change and resilience. So the balance we must strike is to prioritise the wellbeing of staff and service users, by reducing the risks of infection, while also delivering key elements of our service.

We have been in frequent discussion with key stakeholders in identifying and setting out our response, which is as follows:

Our key priorities are:

• Continuity of Prescribing Services to keep dependant drug users stabile and safe.
• Continuity of service / initialisation of service for Prison leavers and other priority referrals.
• Support for vulnerable and unstable service users.

Our broader rehabilitative work remains of great importance and we will be considering in the coming days, how we utilise our teams to provide effective service user support remotely. In addition to, how we can be innovative and creative given the restrictions that we face.

Outline of key decision-making processes:

To clarify the processes we have in place due to issues surrounding COVID-19; it is important for us to consult and collaborate with our consortium partners, including our Health Boards, Area Planning Boards, Police and Welsh Government colleagues. 

Senior consortium managers across areas, along with differing commissioners and clinical consultants are holding daily conference calls at 9:00am, and agreed actions are then shared with local managers.

In the immediate term, to protect our staff, service users and partners from infection we are implementing the following measures:

Staff with underlying conditions (see link below) are to work from home. If staff have mild versions of those conditions then the decision can be made locally collaboratively manager - practitioner. Core work for home workers to start with telephone contact with service users, work on Palbase, CSPs and other remote facilities and then extending to online training (E.g. Welsh Government Safeguarding Training) and research, intervention developments.

Staff who are symptomatic or who have symptomatic people in their households are to remain at home for 14 days. If not unwell, these staff may be capable of working from home.

Staff who are well and who do not have underlying conditions will remain in work but arrangements will be made for them to restrict their time in the workplace and therefore their exposure to others. This will be achieved by:

  • Interventions - All groups to be suspended and non-critical one to one work to be delivered remotely.
  • Other priority casework - Assessments to be undertaken remotely where possible. Only priority casework to take place at bases, only with non-symptomatic service users and social distancing to be observed.
  • Prescribing - This is a key element of stability and our caseworkers will support clinical teams with this. Contact will be reduced where possible by extending intervals between pick-ups for those who are allowed ‘take-outs’; all decisions to be collaborative and safely made. Difficulties with pick-ups due to infection to be dealt with on a case by case basis.
  • DRR / IOM / Probation delivery - DRR testing to continue at bases for the time being. Decisions on levels of contact to be discussed with local Probation colleagues taking levels of risk into account.
  • Custody - Test on Arrest and RAs have been suspended. Arrest Referral staff to supplement casework staff at bases. We will offer an Arrest Referral Service remotely- this will include checking niche first thing, provision of local contact numbers for supported ‘on call’, and to manage any prescription issues for those who have been arrested who are in treatment services.

Service users who present as symptomatic, should not enter our buildings and communication will be via telephone where possible.

Service users who are symptomatic and are prescribed if self isolated at home  - should nominate a relative to attend our base to pick up doses. If no support is available, we can deal with these situations as and when they arise and where possible make alternative arrangements which may include delivery to home address.

We are seeking volunteers from other commissioned services who can assist in with this.

We will enable partners to communicate with us as seamlessly as possible, by distributing our contact details. We will be collaborative and considerate to other agencies when making decisions about the nature and frequency of contact we are having with service users, particularly those whose offending behaviour is linked with their substance misuse.

For further information please see the link below with Guidance from the Welsh Government:

If any further information is required, please contact Angharad Metcalfe by:

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