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Health And Safety Tips For Social Workers During COVID-19

During this uncertain time, our social workers who work within local authorities have been nothing short of heroes. Here at Portman Recruitment, we’re so proud that they represent us out there on a daily basis and we’ve been working hard to ensure our social workers have all the equipment and preparation they need to do their job properly and safely. In today’s blog, we thought we’d share with you some things you can do to ensure your social workers are safe when visiting people.

Risk Assessment

Before any visit by a social worker, a risk assessment must be carried out to ensure the health and safety of all the people involved and they have to consider as many things as possible when it comes to a visit. For example, will the home be present to symptoms of Covid-19, who will make sure a social distance is present at all times, how much information can be obtained prior to the visit so as to shorten the amount of time people are in contact with each other and how do they people being visited want the visit to be managed?

As well as the situational factors, it’s important to ensure all relevant health professionals have the right personal protective equipment (PPE), surgical masks and that they are wearing it throughout the visit. After the visit, consider how the PPE will be disposed of.

When Planning Your Visit

Prior to your visit, make it clear with all health professionals and receivers of care what the purpose of the visit is. Always keep in mind the need for excellent hand hygiene and when it comes to arriving and leaving, ensure the person attending has the appropriate transport and avoid public transport if at all possible. In terms of the actual location of the visit, consider whether or not it can be done outside to further minimise risk.

Once You’re There

On arrival, keep in mind the person you’re visiting may be far more anxious about a visit than usual. Offer reassurance to the person that you’re following strict guidelines, maintaining an appropriate social distance where possible and understand the professional boundaries needed to carry out the visit effectively. Once you’re there do one final check for symptoms, either by taking a temperature or simply asking. Wash your hands before, during and after your visit with soap or hand sanitizer and try to avoid all surfaces as part of a wider health and safety effort.

Disposing Of Your Personal Protective Equipment

Once the visit has been completed PPE may need to be disposed of. To dispose of PPE properly you must double-bag, date and leave it in the household for 72 hours before putting in the general waste. 72 hours is considered a long enough time for the virus to die out as it does not survive well on hard surfaces.

How Portman Recruitment Are Helping Their Social Workers

We’ve been in constant contact with our social workers over these last few months to ensure they have everything they need. As well as support with the day-to-day we’ve also been ensuring people’s mental health is being managed. COVID-19 has caused a great deal of anxiety, stress and worry which can affect mental health if untreated. Our dedicated consultants have been working hard to ensure all our social workers are coping well and able to provide a fantastic service.

We hope that some of these tips, thoughts and considerations will help you and your social work team in your decision making. Each visit will be different and a degree of common sense and interpretation is vital between the social worker, the local authority and in some cases local government to ensure a solution is airtight.

Get In Touch

If you’re a social worker looking for an exciting new role working within a local authority and alongside a recruitment agency that always has your back, can provide real support and will work hard to help you achieve your goals, then get in touch with us today. We work with several local authorities across the UK and we’d love to help you today!

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