FROM replacement flooring to PPE, critical funding has supported the prompt delivery of a raft of measures to ensure a local care provider can continue to operate safely during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

As well as supporting vital infection control measures – such as wipe-clean furnishings in all care settings – the local authority funding has also enabled Heart of England Mencap to facilitate new outdoor areas to allow family visits and new technology to reduce isolation.

The charity supports around 200 local people with learning disabilities with residential, respite and day services across South Warwickshire – in Stratford, Shipston, Studley, Warwick, Leamington and Southam.

Staff, services and settings have had to quickly change to ensure continuity of care throughout the Covid-19 crisis, while safety remains paramount.

The charity recognised early on the importance of the extended use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and thanks to that early planning, as well as generous business and community donations and help to access supplies through Warwickshire County Council, no shortages were experienced.

Following the government’s recognition that care providers needed continuing access to PPE, specific funding was then announced in May and local authorities across the country were tasked with managing the distribution of this funding.

With the support of Warwickshire County Council, Heart of England Mencap was quickly allocated a substantial grant, which has enabled the charity to take action in response to a continually changing and challenging environment.

These actions have included: adapting services to allow at risk people to isolate – but remain in contact with vital support networks; providing specialist equipment to support effective hygiene and cleaning within care settings; developing outdoor visiting spaces for care settings – ensuring families can continue to maintain crucial connections where guidelines allow; replacement easy-clean furniture and flooring to limit contamination; providing technology to facilitate friendships and contact to prevent isolation; funding to support staff to work in allocated bubbles and reduce the risk of cross-infection.

Helena Wallis, Chief Executive of Heart of England Mencap, said: “This has been a critical piece of work for Heart of England Mencap, to ensure all our employees remain safe while continuing their absolutely vital work caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. The prompt and effective allocation of this funding has been key to ensuring our services remain safe during this ongoing crisis. At the heart of what we do is the value of keeping people safe. Like all care providers, this has been, and continues to be, a challenging time.”

Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care & Health said: “I am thrilled that the grant funding awarded from the Council, will go some way in helping to adapt the core services that Heart of England Mencap offers to the most vulnerable within our communities. Just like Heart of England Mencap, the Council’s main objective is to keep people safe and we strive to do this during this most unpredictable of times.