As an organisation Breakthrough is committed to the welfare of our clients, staff, volunteers, training participants and visitors. We will take all measures necessary to protect the welfare of everyone involved with the charity.
The current situation is changing rapidly, and we want to be responsive to events, and to current UK Government guidelines and regulation.
We continue to face a number of challenges about how best to deliver our clinical, support and training services over the coming months.
We need to balance a number of different factors. These include:
- The need to protect service users, staff, volunteers and the general public from greater risk of infection.
- Our duty of care towards vulnerable service users for whom Breakthrough provides a vital safety net.
- The vulnerability of service users who may struggle with their psychological well-being in response to isolation, or who may become unduly distressed if face-coverings are being worneither by themselves or staff.
- Our view that therapy delivered online is neither as effective or as psychologically safe as therapy delivered in person.
- Our understanding that significant breaks in effective and safe therapeutic interventions are detrimental to the well-being of service-users
Our understanding of the current regulations is that it is permissible for service-users to continue to attend individual and group therapy sessions, as these represent essential mental health treatment.
In the light of these considerations, as of 5th January 2021 the following arrangements will apply:
- The Breakthrough Support Centre will remain open, however all service-users and visitors must either have an appointment to attend, be attending a regular drop-in session, or contact us in advance to request an informal drop-in time.
- We will continue to offer face to face individual and group therapy appointments, and scheduled drop-in sessions, using government recommended social distancing and hygiene measures to reduce the risk of infection.
- Where current service users are self-isolating, or shielding due to pre-existing health conditions, we will offer the option to have their individual therapy sessions online or by phone.
- Where service-users are unable to arrange childcare for dependent children, and are therefore not able to attend sessions in person, we will offer the option to have their individual therapy sessions online or by phone
- Where service-users are showing symptoms or have tested positive, or know they have been in contact with someone infected with Covid-19 they must inform us as soon as possible. They will not be permitted to attend the Breakthrough support centre until they have been symptom free for 14 days. In the interim we will arrange for them to receive their individual sessions online or by phone.
- In the event that we become aware that a service-user has failed to observe government guidelines and regulations regarding social distancing, we reserve the right to cancel their face to face appointments until they have been symptom free for 14 days, and will not offer appointments online or by phone instead.
- Where possible external work meetings will be held online, on the rare occasions that this is not possible the participants will observe necessary social distancing and hygiene measures to prevent the spread of infection.
- Internal work meetings will continue to be held in-person. All appropriate measures will be taken to prevent the spread of infection between those attending. Staff who are self-isolating or shielding may attend these meetings online.
We will keep these measures under constant review in the light of the changing situation and government guidelines, and will carry out a full review of this policy every 28 days.