Please see our new guidance ‘Ten ways to keep my child with complex health needs safe’
Here at WellChild, we understand that outbreaks such as COVID-19 can be particularly worrisome for families caring for children with serious and complex health needs. We therefore wanted to share some information for parents and carers that might help.
You can access current UK Government Guidelines and advice here>>
How do I avoid catching and spreading the virus?
Currently the best thing you can do is to follow the NHS guidelines. This includes washing your hands with soap and water regularly for up to 20 seconds, using hand sanitiser gel and catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue or sleeve.
Managing staff and carers
Make sure you agree a plan with any carers or staff who enter your home and ensure they are strictly following the NHS guidelines. This includes family and friends who may visit. Put reminder notices around the home if that helps. You can download a ’Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ poster (PDF, 940KB) from the NHS.
If carers are employed through an agency, you could contact the agency to confirm their policy if you are worried.
Don’t forget to discuss a plan for what happens if you’re left without care. Involve your care agency and find out what they have in place. Your local authority should be able to tell you if they have any contingency plans. Do you have family members or friends who could help?
Treatment plans and hospital appointments
It is important to continue to follow your agreed treatment plans as much as possible and unless specifically told otherwise, attend agreed appointments and procedures at your GP surgery, or hospital.
Whilst there is no need to stock-pile large quantities of medicines, it is important as ever to ensure you have adequate supplies of medicines and other consumables.
Holidays and travel
There is useful advice for those planning holidays and travel from the NHS website and from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It also includes guidance for those returning from abroad.
Who to contact if worried about coronavirus exposure
If you think you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus, or if you have any non-emergency concerns about your health, that of your child, or those in your household (including family members, staff and carers), use 111 online. Tell them that you are a carer and explain your situation. For emergency situations, call 999 immediately.
Where else to go for information and advice
There are a range of useful sources of information and advice available for those in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
WellChild will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of new advice as it becomes clearer. To connect with other families facing similar challenges, you can also join our active family network, the WellChild Family Tree.