Bromley Council is asked to share COVID-19 expertise with other social care professionals

Published Monday, 6 April 2020

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) invited Bromley Council to share its expertise in dealing with the huge challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic to those who provide adult social care up and down the country.

Bromley’s Director of Adult Services, Kim Carey and Head of Assessment and Care Management, Tricia Wennell took part in a webinar to talk about Bromley’s approach and how the council is working to ensure vulnerable older people in the borough are protected from the virus.

Around 400 social care professionals from around the country heard how Bromley has galvanised the whole adult care team into action to pull together with staff diverted from other services, with the voluntary sector, residents, and with partners in health to fight this virus by supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.  Many more professionals are expected to access the recording now available on the SCIE website.

Listeners to the webinar hosted by SCIE Chairman, Rt Hon. Paul Burstow, former MP and Care Minister, heard that Bromley Council has established a team of up to 60 staff to be on stand-by, headed by a proven top project manager within the Council, to co-ordinate a voluntary effort across the borough. The team is now matching volunteers from a remarkable 3700-strong army of willing people ready to swing into action as the council receives requests for help.

It has been important to ensure that members of staff are re-deployed where possible to support areas of the service coming under greater pressure. At one point some 70 calls were received in a matter of hours for help to get basic foodstuffs. Every caller needed an expert response not only to answer the query, but also to check that callers are generally well and coping and not needing other support.

Other points of discussion were the dexterity with which the council’s adult social care team is responding to the constantly changing landscape. The need to interpret huge amounts of incoming data in order to make the right key decisions based on current knowledge and to be able to offer appropriate advice is paramount. Listeners heard how Bromley is in constant touch with the borough’s care homes and hospitals to make sure that people needing a place can be accommodated and that those living there are safe.

Councillor Diane Smith, Executive Member for Adult Care and Health said: “It is a great honour for Bromley to be asked to share its experience with other councils and care professionals in this way. We have an enormous logistical exercise keeping abreast of such fast moving challenges. We are extremely proud of the way in which Bromley has mobilised its team, many of whom have to deal with ‘business as usual’ as well as the challenges presented by the current crisis.

“In addition, we wasted no time in appealing for volunteers and what a remarkable response we have had from residents. Please do not worry if your service may not be required right now, but we will be looking to call on your support in the longer term when your help may be critical. Thank you all.”

If you would like to volunteer or request assistance please visit our website at www.bromley.gov.uk/covid-19

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For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7911 or email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk