New and innovative ways of learning have been adopted by the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership in order to support the most vulnerable people in the city throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

The Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Integration Joint Board will consider reports on Tuesday August 25 detailing how the partnership rallied together to protect citizens Dundee and how it will move into the recovery stage.

 

COVID-19 continues to have an impact on the health and social care needs of the population and the partnership had to act quickly to change the way supports and services were delivered, whilst ensuring the wellbeing of the workforce and providing support to unpaid carers.

 

It is envisioned by the partnership that the medium to long-term impacts of the pandemic will persist for many years.

 

During phase 1 of the pandemic, Partnership services have supported efforts to rapidly increase the availability of beds in the acute sector to respond to COVID-19 positive patients requiring hospital admission.

 

The partnership has also been providing responses to COVID-19 positive people in the community, both within their own homes and within residential settings such as care homes.

 

Essential services including face to face contact with service users and patients was maintained and a major operation was undertaken to upskill and train staff to support redeployment.

 

A range of services and supports have been rapidly redesigned to enable continued operation in the context of social distancing regulations and public health advice.

 

Furthermore, the Partnership has made a significant contribution to wider Dundee Community Planning Partnership efforts to respond to community support needs, such as responses to shielded people, food distribution and a range of public protection responses.

Chair of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Integration Joint Board, Trudy McLeay: “I want to take this opportunity to thank the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Staff and partner agencies, they have played an instrumental role in the fight against Coronavirus and I must applaud them for their hard work and dedication.

 

“Their commitment to maintain services and to protecting the health and wellbeing of the people they care for has been exceptional in rapidly changing and very challenging circumstances.

 

“It may be some time before we understand the full impact of this pandemic, but I know we are committed to doing everything we can to support the community as we continue to deal with Coronavirus.”

 

As the Partnership moves forward to the recovery planning stage there is much to learn and build on from the initial response period. At this stage, there will not be a comprehensive overview and it is anticipated that further learning will emerge as we move through the recovery period.

 

The recovery plan has been set against the four phases within ‘Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’. As described in the national route map, the movement between phases will take place when the Scottish Government is satisfied that certain criteria have been met, there is therefore no set timescale for each phase and the recovery plan must accommodate uncertainty in this regard.

 

With the possibility of further surges the recovery plan provides flexibility to respond as and when required.

 

The partnership will concentrate on essential service areas, keeping safe those who are most at risk and vulnerable. This will include scalable and sustainable plans for further potential surges in COVID-19 cases and peaks of demand.

 

Going forward, there is potential for further consolidation and for innovation to contribute to the post-pandemic legacy for health and social care.

 

Part of this work will involve capitalising on new opportunities which could change the way the partnership works with communities across the city.

 

This includes practical changes such as increased awareness of infection control, encourages good hand hygiene and explores enhanced digital working opportunities.

 

The recovery planning work has been, and will continue to be, informed by the following principles:

· People should only attend building-based services if there is no other alternative

· Maximise the use of available resources to deliver prioritised care, services and support to as much of the population as possible

· Where necessary we care will be separated into service pathways into COVID and non-COVID.

 

Ms Mcleay continued: “As we look to recover from this pandemic our plans will be developed with our workforce and will consider the views and priorities of the people who use our services and of carers.

 

“While safety must remain our paramount concern, the sacrifices of the recent months mean we are now in a position to consider how to cautiously restart some of our services which adaptations where necessary to ensure safety.

 

“Our priority will always be to protect our workforce and the people we care for and support.

 

"We are immensely proud of our population and their working with us in observing the restrictions put in place to protect all of us. Without that public commitment our ability to keep as many of us safe as possible would have been difficult."

The following reports can be read here.