During the pandemic Surrey Choices continues to offer a range of services across Surrey, to support vulnerable people each day in safe environment.
At Surrey Choices, we have been offering our Shared Lives respite service (albeit at a reduced capacity) and Supported Employment Service, EmployAbility. Our 22 day services across the county could not continue to operate as usual, so alongside the support offered to people in their own homes, additional staff capacity has been offered to other care providers around Surrey who were experiencing staff shortages due to Coronavirus.
Offering this support required us to look beyond our organisational boundaries and manage our response as a health and care system wrapped around our most vulnerable residents.Sharing our workforce would normally call for contractual and formal arrangements, but recognising this was neither practical or responsive in the current situation, a short agreement was drawn up to focus on the best overall outcomes for vulnerable people in Surrey. Our staff are already well trained and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked and were able to adapt their learning disability day service experience in a number of settings including Learning disability supported living services and residential homes, but also we provided support in older peoples’ services, including both local authority and private providers, at no cost to the provider.
This initiative not only benefited the providers and their clients, but also our own staff were able to feel they contributed to the wider issues in the community. This quote is from one of our staff team:
“I am so proud to be needed in elderly care services, our skills are transferable – I jumped at the chance to be redeployed. It was so heart-warming to be with customers with Dementia who really needed help – you get time to chat or hold their hands. My own self-esteem has been boosted considerably by being able to help.” – Sylvia Owen, Activity Facilitator at Surrey Choices.