First City leads the fight against COVID-19 to protect the Swindon community

By Ben Fitzgerald - 20 March 2020

CommunityHealthBusiness

Swindon’s leading homecare provider First City Nursing, together with their charitable arm Friends of First City, is launching a raft of social and business measures to shield the town from the escalating impact of COVID-19.

With businesses and families experiencing financial uncertainty as a result of the pandemic, First City is looking for people who would be interested in short-term or temporary employment, and can even work with businesses to redeploy interested staff on a temporary basis.  This could provide a lifeline to businesses that may be facing immediate difficulties and are at risk of losing staff.

Stephen Trowbridge, Managing Director of First City Nursing said: “These are uncertain times for business and once the pandemic is over we’re going to need the whole workforce ready to move immediately. 

“If businesses need to start losing staff then recovery will be much slower.  We want to work with them to redeploy their staff into caring roles temporarily should their employee be interested and provide full training and all PPE equipment such as masks and gloves.  We can also provide financial support, such as possibly taking on the responsibility for that employee’s wages over the period and would return the employee to their original role when the business was ready to have them back. 

“This could be the ideal solution for those working for businesses that are facing reduced incomes due to social distancing and self-isolation guidelines, such as retail stores, restaurants and other businesses which may need to close or reduce their opening hours.”

Recognising that there is also a groundswell of members of the community who want to help and do what they can, First City will work across the town to coordinate efforts to ensure that volunteers have the right support and knowledge to protect themselves and their families, as well as vetting volunteers so that the most vulnerable in our community are protected.

By bolstering the care industry in the town, as well as with crucial voluntary help from the community, Swindon could minimise the impact of the pandemic’s curve and enable the social care sector to continue to focus on delivering care, which in turn helps hospitals and other acute settings to deliver care to the most sick.

Stephen continued: “The care system has never known pressures like this before and the key to alleviating as much stress as we can is in the hands of the community.  I’ve been watching the global situation closely and can see where we might be heading here.  By drawing on a new army of volunteers at this time we can benefit the whole system and put Swindon in the strongest position to recover, both physically and economically from Covid-19.

“I’ve watched our friends and families volunteer their time on social media on a street by street basis and believe that a town-wide approach would impact so many lives at this unprecedented time.  At no point would our army of volunteers be asked to carry out any caring duties, which our excellent teams of carers and partner providers continue to do.  We want people who are keen to help relieve the strain by delivering shopping, picking up medications or just being a friendly ear on the end of the phone.  Together we are stronger to fight this national and international crisis and protect our town.”

First City Nursing is rated outstanding by CQC and is working tirelessly to ensure that all staff have the right equipment and PPE to continue supporting Swindon’s most vulnerable residents.

For more information on carer opportunities or to express an interest in joining First City’s volunteer army, visit www.firstcitynursing.co.uk or call01793 313044

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