How to protect your residents, staff and yourself from Coronavirus

CORONAVIRUS

I was chatting to a dear friend and very loyal customer recently, and we were discussing what would happen if they had an outbreak of Coronavirus in their care home and putting a contingency plan in place. I asked if it would be useful if I put some information together designed to help care homes and she agreed it would.

So I would like to share the following information in support of the breakout of Coronavirus 2019-nCoV which, I hope, will help you as this is an extremely serious breakout and taking action now will hopefully prevent you, your residents and staff from getting ill.

A BIT OF BACKGROUND

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some can cause illness in people including mild symptoms, such as the common cold. Other strains can lead to pneumonia and cause more severe disease e.g. SARS and MERS.

There are currently no vaccines or a cure for Coronavirus, and antibiotics will not work. Recovery depends on initial health – how strong the sufferer’s immune system is to begin with.

Coronavirus can be spread by close contact through droplet transmission from coughing and sneezing, direct human to human contact, touching contaminated surfaces or breathing aerosols generated by medical procedures.

People living in care homes are especially vulnerable to infections and severe disease because:

  • Residents are often elderly and frail with other underlying diseases
  • Infections can spread rapidly in care homes due to the close contact between residents and without adequate infection control, carers can unintentionally facilitate the spread of infection between residents

An outbreak in a care home can therefore rapidly cause significant illness and potentially death and requires prompt investigation and management

SO WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF AN OUTBREAK?

Two or more cases (as defined below) arising within the same 48-hour period OR three or more cases arising within the same 72-hour period, which meet the same clinical case definition and where a link can be established.

Common signs of infection include:

  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties

OR in older people an acute deterioration in physical or mental ability without other known cause

In more severe cases infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

What can you do to protect your staff and residents?

Hand Hygiene

Washing hands

Effective hand cleansing is the best first line of defence against coronavirus.

  • Wash physically dirty hands frequently using a mild soap and running water for at least 20-30 seconds using absorbent disposable hand towels for hand drying or
  • Use a minimum 60% alcohol-based hand sanitiser compliant with BS EN 1500:2013 for hand sanitising if hands are visibly clean.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.

To understand hand hygiene fully please read this Get Wise to Hand Hygiene Leaflet written by BHTA Experts including our MD Jo Bonser

Practice respiratory hygiene

When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or use tissues – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitiser or soap and water.

Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.

Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

Use of disposable face masks and disposable gloves can help to protect against this transferring of the virus.

Effective surface decontamination

  • The Coronavirus is not currently available for commercial laboratories to test against so although we cannot give a definitive contact time and dilution rate, our surface disinfection products Selgiene Ultra Virucidal Cleaner and Selgiene Extreme Sanitiser have been assessed for virucidal activity following test methods such as BS EN 14476 and BS EN 14675. Results show they are effective against a range of viruses such as the H1N1 influenza virus, Norovirus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and the Ebola virus.

We would therefore recommend using the below products for general disinfection in the infection prevention and control for the 2019-nCoV on frequently touched surfaces including hand rails, door handles, light switches etc.

Product Concentration Contact time

Selgiene Ultra (5 litres) 1:10 5 minutes

 

Selgiene Ultra/Extreme RTU Neat 5 minutes

Where specific cases are suspected or identified we would recommend an additional step of applying 1000ppm bleach (after precleaning with Selgiene). We advise the use of Selgiene for precleaning to minimise the risk that the cleaning cloths become a source of cross contamination.

To achieve 1000ppm bleach see below.

Product Preparation Concentration Contact time

Chlorine Tablets 1 tablet in 1L water 1000ppm 15 minutes

Please note, all of the products listed are subject to availability, we advise you take precautions and order any additional stock you may need now to avoid disappointment.

If you would like any more help or information regarding how to protect your home from Coronavirus please contact Hcsuk on 01773 713713 or email us at sales@hcsuk.co.uk

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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistantly good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.

 

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