Home Ben news hub Coronavirus update from Ben’s Chief Executive, Zara Ross

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Coronavirus update from Ben’s Chief Executive, Zara Ross

At Ben, we are taking the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously, particularly as a provider of care and support to older people who are in a more vulnerable group.

Ben’s executive team and I are doing everything we can to protect our care centre residents, sheltered housing residents, day centre members, Lynwood Village owners and employees in this situation and we will continue to do so.

We have a plan in place to mitigate the risk of infection across all Ben sites. We also have a dedicated response team who meet on a regular and ‘as-needed’ basis to keep abreast of the fast-changing situation, looking into developments and Government advice to prepare accordingly.

You can find further details on the action that Ben has taken in each area of the charity, below:

Ben Care Centres and Day Care Centre
(Birch Hill Care Centre, Town Thorns Care Centre, Lynwood Care Centre, Coventry Day Care Centre)
We routinely practice very good infection control measures across all of our care centres, from effective hand-washing and deep cleaning, to self-monitoring and isolation of residents and staff where any contagious illness is suspected.

We will continue to maintain optimal infection control measures, but now include all necessary additional measures to reduce the risk of infection across our care centres, as a consequence of the escalation of the virus. Central to this is the decision to limit access to our care centres to essential visitors only, as of 13th March 2020, for the foreseeable future.

In addition, to ensure the safety of our members and their families during this challenging time, we have decided to close our Day Care Centre in Coventry as of Monday 16th March, until further notice.

To find out more about how we have responded to Covid-19 across our care centres, click here.

Lynwood Village
To reduce the risk of infection within our retirement village community near Ascot in Berkshire, we decided to limit access to essential visitors only, effective from Friday 13th March, until further notice. We have also adapted processes, adjusted our services, and limited some of our facilities, all designed to reduce potential exposure to the virus within the village environment.

Health & Wellbeing support for the automotive industry
Our Helpline for automotive industry people remains open and operating as normal. Our support service is also operating as normal, with the exception of face-face support visits, which won’t take place for the foreseeable future. We encourage those who need support with their health and wellbeing to make use of our tips, advice & tools online at www.ben.org.uk and get in touch via our Helpline if they need tailored Health & Wellbeing support.

Ben continues to collaborate with automotive employers where appropriate to find ways to deliver planned workplace training sessions and support.

Ben employees
Home-working arrangements have now been applied to all Ben’s head office-based employees. As always, we know that our care and Lynwood Village employees will be prepared to work as flexibly as possible to ensure adequate cover arrangements during this period.

The safety of all vulnerable people living at Ben sites and our employees is of utmost importance to Ben, so we will continue to do everything we can to mitigate against the risk of infection. We will continue to follow Government guidelines and respond accordingly.

Ben is using the government’s Job Retention Scheme to furlough 30 non-frontline staff, but to ensure our people don’t feel any financial pressures, we are topping up the government contribution, so they receive full pay at 100%. Our people are everything to Ben, so we are reaffirming our commitment to them during what is a very difficult time.  

Ben’s income is likely to be impacted over this period. Therefore, we have taken the proactive step of using the government’s scheme to reduce outgoings during a time when we are seeing increased demand for our care and support services.

We are extremely proud of the way our staff have adapted to this challenging and ever-changing situation, with continued drive to provide support for life for automotive industry people, as well as looking after our care centre residents and retirement village owners on a day to day basis. Every day, and now more than ever before, our people put those we provide care and support for at the heart of everything they do.

We will continue to be there for those we provide care and support for. Ben is needed now more than ever before.

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