Face-to-Face visits suspended until further notice
It is with regret that we write to inform you of our decision to ask all staff and volunteers to suspend all face-to-face patient support for the foreseeable future. We have made this decision in light of the growing concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus and the categorisation of CKD within the high-risk group.
Due to this, as an organisation, we must be especially careful as many of our volunteers and the patients who access our services are over 70 years old and have long-term health conditions considered by Public Health England/Wales to present a higher risk. At present, we are unsure how long this protocol will last, but will advise of any changes following updated Government, Public Health & NHS advice.
We will inform all patients, service users and renal teams of our decision to suspend face-to-face-support over the next few days. Throughout the coming weeks, we will post details of our updated protocols to our website and social media platforms. We will also seek to communicate with patients and their families to gain information of the types of support they require at this difficult time. This information will enable us to mobilise emergency action based on the needs of our service users and the wider renal community. We envisage that during this unprecedented situation, patients and their families will require our support more than ever. Whilst we cannot safely help with practical support i.e. shopping; we can begin to put a plan in place to ensure that all renal patients and their families have access to remote support i.e. telephone based peer-support, telephone or web-based counselling, information & advice. Throughout this, our aim is to do our best to continue our mission of Putting Patients First and helping everyone with CKD to Believe in Themselves. In addition to this, we will also share details of emergency telephone numbers and helpful signposting information, which will be available through our website.
Volunteers actively providing patient support – unfortunately we cannot be sure of how long this new protocol will be required. However, until further notice please kindly refrain from scheduling any face-to-face contact with all renal patients and their family members. We advise support to continue over the telephone for the foreseeable future. If the patient you are supporting has access to a video calling device and you feel comfortable in providing support through this medium, you are welcome to do so. If you require any help, advice or assistance, please contact the Support Services Coordinator.
If you are not actively providing patient support – we are currently working to expand our support services to meet the needs of renal patients and their families during isolation. We will be in touch with all volunteers to relay these developments as they occur. All volunteers who wish to continue to provide patient support are encouraged to contact the Support Services Coordinator and advise of their availability for the coming weeks. If you have access to a video calling device and are comfortable in providing support through this medium, please let also let us know.
All volunteers – we will be in touch with all volunteers over the coming days and weeks, as we continue to develop our services. If you have any suggestions for further developments or alternative ways of providing support, please let us know. Similarly, if you are in contact with any patients or families that may require our support during this difficult time, please give them our contact details. Whilst the PPF office team are currently working from home, we have redirected our phonelines so remain able to accept calls (and emails) as usual.
Please accept our apologies for the impact that this decision will have on our services and volunteers at this time. We hope you understand our reasons for taking such cautious action. Patient safety and wellbeing is our utmost priority and we are doing everything within our power to ensure that all patients and volunteers affected by the recent Public Health advice are protected. If you have any concerns, or are negatively affected in any way by these changes, please don’t hesitate to contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 038 8989.