In March 2020, the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic caused NHS and Social Care services across the country to reduce face to face activity or close entirely due to a need for socially distanced precautions to be taken, or as a result of staff needing to be redeployed to support the response.
Across Essex the response to pandemic varied with some area teams needing to scale back to skeleton services or close while others changed the way that they offered services. Since September all local teams have been recovering from the impact of the first wave and are working hard to deliver a safe service for children and families, as well as the settings they support. This work continues and services are adapting their delivery models to meet the evolving situation for their local populations as we see a second surge. As such, the principles below have been agreed to effectively support settings, schools and services through the winter.
If schools or parents have concerns about the way that services are being offered, they should discuss them with their local therapist in the first instance
All local teams are operating in line with the Infection Prevention and Control Guidance (GOV IPC)
Therapists employed by NHS will also follow their local Trust's guidance which reflects the GOV IPC above.
Each local team will have clear information about their current operating model and guidance available and up to date on their website and the Essex Local Offer.
Wherever possible, all services will continue to be offered in a way which maintains access through a range of delivery options, including virtual means, face-to-face contact and telephone consultation.
Any face to face contact will based on a risk assessment, according to clinical needs across all local provider teams.
If, at any point redeployment is required, this will be considered based upon needs and skill set of staff and only on agreement with local system commissioners. In conjunction with a plan that seeks to minimise the impact on children and families.
Any changes in service capacity due to covid pressures or redeployment will be communicated across the system with partners to ensure that parents/carers and professionals are all aware.
Any redeployment required will be for a defined period of time, with regular reviews of the need for the redeployment and a return will be initiated sooner rather than later.