Thursday, 26 March 2020

To all Parents / Carers,

The Coronavirus Committee has once again met to discuss any further developments. Initially, I want to clarify with you that to date, there is nobody within Flintwood who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. We continue to plan, however, should an outbreak occur.

Things are changing day by day, sometimes even hour by hour with the current Coronavirus situation; we are aware some Service Providers have closed their Day Services. At this stage, Flintwood’s Day Service will remain open until we receive a directive from the State or Federal Government, NDIS / NDIA or NSW Health.

With many people struggling to access their disability supports, Support Coordination has become an essential service. Thankfully, the Agency has recognised that. A new line item for Support Coordination has been added to Core. This will allow participants without Support Coordination funding (or who have used all of theirs up) to access the service through their Core budget. If you need support with your NDIS plan or to secure future services, purchase consumables, organise therapists or support to work through the minefield of the Coronavirus, we can help you. Our team of Support Coordinators are here to help, please contact Brienne Sutton on 0419 477073 or Brienne.sutton@flintwood.org.au

We spent yesterday reviewing our procedures and how we can continue to provide a safe environment for our participants, employees and families.

At this point, we will continue to function as normal with the following procedures, which have already been in place along with some additional actions.

– Disinfecting protocols for all sites, spaces and buses

– Temperature checks upon arrival, anyone with a temperature over 37.8 Degrees and / or showing symptoms of cold and flu to be sent home.

– Increased handwashing frequency and sanitiser use were unable to wash hands.

– Pictorials provided for participants to understand the importance of these procedures (Talking Point document)

– Review of group sizes and numbers in activity rooms to limit contact.

– Review of the number of participants in the vehicle to ensure there is adequate space between the participants

– Any meetings which are scheduled need to be held within the centre will need to be held via the phone

There have been numerous venues that have been affected, closed, and now our groups cannot access. The Participants are being prepared for these changes as much as possible and have so far adjusted quite well with the alternative activities.

Within our Day Services, we have had a number of Participants who have chosen to stay at home at this stage, whether it is for a period of a week, two weeks or until further notice. Please let me remind you, Flintwood is offering ‘Day Service with a twist!’ What that means is, we can offer in-home services, we can review your Service Booking and offer a 1:1 service, if we have the available staff.

If you would like your Son / Daughter / Participant not to come to the centre, but would like individual support or small group support in home or local park areas, please let us know so we can identify if we have the staff capacity for that support. We will provide pick up / drop off from home during this period. You may wish for the service to be for a few hours, rather than a 6-hour period, that is OK too. We will help where we can but need to ensure that the staff are available and prepared to work within the home. Whatever your requests or thoughts are, please communicate with the Service Manager to see what they can do to assist.

The NDIA is saying that on the day a plan is due to expire, it will be automatically be extended by 365 days (replacing the previous 28 day rule). If a participant wishes to extend for 24 months, they can request this at the end of their plan and if people require more funds now to cover their critical needs through this time, they should request an unscheduled plan review.

Please be advised there has also been a recent adjustment to the NDIS Cancellation policy overnight. They have advised that instead of 90% of the days cost being able to be claimed if no notice is given, it is now 100%. The notice period it says will be “broadened” but it does not specify what that means at this time.

For your information, Flintwood has also stopped the Participants from six of their Supported Accommodation houses accessing their Day Services (with consent) to minimise the risk of catching the virus, due to the complex support needs of the Participants.

I hope this reassures you that we are doing everything we can to keep our service functioning and our people safe.

Thank you again for your support and understanding with this,

Yours Sincerely,

Kay McPartland

General Manage

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