UPDATED October 2020
We have introduced new policies and procedures to ensure that we are following government guidelines to reduce risk while working in client’s homes.
If you have booked to work with us, we will email you a pdf version of this document for you to sign and return.
Full text of the document is also included below for your convenience:
COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Procedures for Hoarding Disorders UK
Objective: To reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures.
For most up to date information see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the local restrictions https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know
We may amend this document subject to any changes within the Government recommendations.
- We will cancel the session if we (or any member of our household or support bubble) develop any symptoms of or are tested positive for COVID-19 and follow the protocol as per Government Guidelines https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
- We will also cancel the session if we have been notified by NHS Test and Trace that we have been in contact with a person who has had a positive test result for COVID-19 as per Government Guidelines https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person
- We reserve the right to decline work or leave a client session if we feel that we cannot guarantee a safe working environment for ourselves and / or our clients.
- We cannot work in a household:
- where someone is self-isolating because of a positive testWe cannot work in a household:
- where someone is self-isolating awaiting test results
- where someone is self-isolating due to living with someone (or in a support bubble with someone) who has tested positive or has symptoms.
- We will work in a household where somebody is clinically extremely vulnerable, since government advice is that they “…should continue to receive care at home… ” and “You can still receive care at home from professional social care…”. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#Clinically We will review this decision if needed to depending also on the local alert levels https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know#local-covid-alert-level-high
- We will communicate this risk assessment with clients prior to any visit to discuss how the work will be carried out to minimise risk for all parties.
- We will require clients to agree to our guidelines below by email or in writing.
- The risk assessment will also be available, on request, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Government guidelines state that “When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.”
- Government guidelines also state “There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from COVID-19. A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose. Face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including minimising time spent in contact, using fixed teams and partnering for close-up work, and increasing hand and surface washing. These other measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace and government would therefore not expect to see employers relying on face coverings as risk management for the purpose of their health and safety assessments. If you choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and before and after taking them off.”
Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes & https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb967e286650c2791ec7100/working-safely-during-covid-19-other-peoples-homes-240920.pdf & https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
We therefore will be wearing gloves and face coverings (unless exempt) where we are working within 2m of each other and suggest the client also wears a face covering unless exempt (client to supply their own) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#exemptions-face-coverings
Booking in work with clients
In the context of COVID-19, when booking work with clients we will:
- Offer a virtual session as our preferred first option.
- Where a virtual session is not possible, ask to work with only one other person in the house where possible.
- Recommence working with existing customers before accepting any new customers as the risks can be better predicted in a house that we have already visited.
- Prioritise working situations where the 2m rule CAN be followed in full e.g. working outdoors, working in garages, working in a room without the client.
- Next prioritise working situations which are well-ventilated and have plenty of space in preference to smaller, tighter, confined spaces.
- Consider limiting the length of time of the visit and book in more shorter visits.
- Avoid travelling by any form of public transport and ensure regular cleaning of our vehicles.
- Ring to confirm that there has been no change to the client’s situation or our situation the morning before we attend the appointment.
COVID-19 Compliant Declaration
When working in a client’s house, we, on behalf of Hoarding Disorders UK, agree that we will:
- Confirm that we are in good health and not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Freshly launder our clothes ahead of each client visit.
- Increase the frequency of surface cleaning (we will use cleaning products of client’s choice as provided by the client or our own anti-viral / anti-bacterial spray and clean cloths if preferred) to reduce the risk of passing infection on to other people.
- Increase the frequency of handwashing for 20 seconds using soap and hot water (client to provide soap and a clean towel, if not available then we will supply our own anti-bacterial wipes).
- Pay particular attention to coughing, sneezing and nose-blowing hygiene, such as covering our noses and mouths, disposing of single-use tissues (we will provide disposable tissues) and increased hand washing.
- Take our own food and drink to households and have breaks outside where possible.
- Keep 2m apart from any other people in the home wherever possible, and minimising movement in busy areas of the property e.g. stairs and corridors.
- Wear gloves.
- If we need to be in the same room within 2 metres, we will provide a face covering for ourselves and use back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.
- Avoid sharing of any tools or implements used.
- Handle any waste and recycling so as to avoid potential transmission of infection and ensure put in correct receptacles at Client’s home at the end of the session where possible or transferred to another location ASAP following all guidelines e.g. leaving items for 72 hours before processing https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste
Client Engagement Declaration
As a client of Hoarding Disorders UK, I agree that I will:
- Inform Hoarding Disorders UK as soon as possible in advance of the appointment if I have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with other people who have displayed symptoms.
- Abide by the guidelines issued by Hoarding Disorders UK.
- Maintain a 2m distance from the employee of Hoarding Disorders UK at all times (wherever possible).
- Wear a face covering if needing to be within 2m of the employee of Hoarding Disorders UK if not exempt (which I will provide myself).
- Nominate a clean bathroom for the employee of Hoarding Disorders UK to use for bathroom breaks where possible.
- Provide the employee of Hoarding Disorders UK with soap and clean towel where possible.
- Leave all internal doors open to minimise the employee of Hoarding Disorders UK’s contact with door handles where possible.
- Keep working areas well ventilated where possible.
I confirm that the information provided above is correct and should there be any changes that I will notify you immediately. I also understand that the work is being undertaken at my request and that in the event of either party being diagnosed as being COVID-19 positive, that, provided both parties have adhered to the above guidelines, no liability will be accepted / assumed by either myself, as client, or Hoarding Disorders UK