Message from our CEO - COVID-19

Our support to people on the autism spectrum is needed now more than ever.

Autism Hampshire is taking all available steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the people we support, their families, our staff, stakeholders and visitors.

COVID-19 creates an unprecedented challenge to our “typical” society, we will therefore do our upmost to continue to provide appropriate levels of support and guidance.

We acknowledge that the needs of the people we support can be more complex than those experiencing the impact of this virus generally.

This challenge needs everyone to work together to maintain services as long as conceivably possible.

We are entirely dependent on the health of our staff teams to continue our service provision and recognise that our resources will be diminished over the coming weeks.

We have therefore reviewed all of our services to ensure that the most critical can remain open over the forthcoming weeks and months as follows:-

Residential and Supported Living Services

Our 24/7 support to people residing in either residential or supported living homes remain our upmost priority.

Information and Advice Service

We will continue to offer over the telephone advice to support vulnerable people and their families across the county.

University Mentoring Services

Students will be supported over the telephone or via Skype instead of face to face meetings during this critical time.

Serendipity and Our Experts by Experience Groups

We will be hosting these very important groups via email contacts, Facebook messaging and offering one to one advice via our Information and Advice service.

Training and Consultancy Services

In order to ensure we have sufficient staff for the above, until further notice we will be ceasing our Consultancy and Training Services.

We therefore ask for your support in the following measures which will be in place until further notice……

Visitors and Staff

Our staff are advised to keep at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between themselves and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

  • Should a visitor appear to be unwell this will be immediately raised with a manager.
  • Visitors who are unwell may be refused entry on grounds of safety and wellbeing of our staff and the people we support.
  • Everyone is required to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, with warm water and soap after using the toilet, nose blowing or touching others/objects.
  • After hand washing, it is important that hands are dried thoroughly.
  • If people cough or sneeze, their mouth and nose must be covered with a bent elbow or tissue which must be thrown away immediately, preferably in the bathroom.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • All frequently touched objects and surfaces will be cleaned with antiviral wipes on a regular basis.
  • Windows will be kept open for ventilation.

Hygiene measures

  • Everyone is required to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, with warm water and soap after using the toilet, nose blowing or touching others/objects.
  • After hand washing, it is important that hands are dried thoroughly.
  • If people cough or sneeze, their mouth and nose must be covered with a bent elbow or tissue which must be thrown away immediately, preferably in the bathroom.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Environmental measures

  • All frequently touched objects and surfaces will be cleaned with antiviral wipes on a regular basis.
  • Windows will be kept open for ventilation.

Meetings

  • All meetings with external stakeholders will be conducted via Skype, email or over the phone where possible.
  • For essential face to face meetings, the number of attendees will be limited to ensure our meeting space is big enough for social distancing.
  • We will avoid handshakes.
  • We will ensure our meeting rooms and items used are cleaned with antiviral wipes before and after use.
  • We will maintain open window ventilation throughout meeting time.
  • Pens will not be supplied for meetings.
  • Disposable cups and mugs will be used.

Daily COVID-19 briefing meetings will be chaired by the CEO or Quality and Safety Lead to ensure that the charity is in the best position to respond to any developments.

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