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Juno's November Blog 2020

How's it going thumbs up meme

Someone sent this picture through earlier this week.

I can’t think why they sent it!

COVID has impacted so many things for us, things you wouldn’t necessarily think of.

Walk with me……

We want to run some training apprenticeships and we have a corporate sponsor in a position to pay us some apprenticeship levy to enable us to put our staff through some excellent professional development.

But because we are so short staffed and over worked currently (COVID take a bow) we are going to struggle to make the mandatory 20% ‘off the job’ element.

We are trying to give a refund to funder (who shall remain nameless). When they let us have the ‘pay to plan’ relief funds they said we must return any funds that we don’t spend. Fair enough. Ever transparent and honest and frugal we saved around £2500 – but can we pay it back? No. Apparently there is no method for this (for which read ‘everyone else laughed in their face and spent the money anyway’). Now I can’t spend it as that is dishonest accounting so it is sitting there winking at me every time I look at our respite baths which are falling apart and eating the service engineers one leg at a time. I asked them if anyone else was offering a refund…..no reply.

We are doing the mandatory weekly COVID swabbing of care home staff. It hurts a bit to do it properly. If you don’t do it properly you risk an inconclusive result. It is taking all day to correctly swab 50 odd staff, package them all up (the tests not the staff), arrange the courier collection and upload all of the individual staff details to the Government website. Is everyone else REALLY doing this properly or is it just us plodding along killing ourselves by following the rules as usual……?

All of this takes so much time!

Which we don’t have because……

We are still, every single day, completing daily returns to the NHS and to CQC, and then there are also the weekly returns to them and to our commissioners and then the monthly returns as well (or more often if things change and you know what? Things change most days….).

I have to refer to 7 different spreadsheets for each return.

There is no extra funded time for this, or the planning and management of the testing (or the breakfasts we are providing to say thank you to staff working above and beyond, and to encourage people to come in for the tests), or for the additional time needed to interpret guidance, write risk assessments, manage positive tests, arrange vaccines and anti-body tests, contribute to forums on the latest in infection prevention and control.

There is no extra funding for the urgent hours I and other managers spent late on Friday night working out how we continue to deliver a safe service when one of our staff had a positive asymptomatic test.

All of this is taking our time from the important things.

I am spending odd half minutes in grabbed moments progressing an on-line memorial service with our Chaplain for one of our young people. I should be taking careful, reflective time on this, not sandwiching her in between a return and a meeting. She was, is, worth so much more than that.

But this is where comes the difference between the important and the urgent.

All of the COVID work is urgent.

But she is so important, and I am not going to let COVID get in the way of our staff being able to say the respectful and loving goodbye that they are longing to say.

So we are waving not drowning – just - and we will continue to do what is urgent and what is important.

And you know what? We’ll do everything else as well.

‘Cos that’s how we rock.