Angel and Laila received their weekly rota emails from Karen, the manager of the care agency they worked for. The rota listed the clients they would be visiting during the week.
As Angel’s shift started at 6am she went to see Mrs Kowalski first. Mrs Kowalski was an early riser.
On arriving at the house Angel usually lets herself into the property using the key in the key safe near the front door. However, because of COVID-19, she was taking extra precautions, so she wiped down the keypad with a wipe before opening it and taking out the key.
As usual, she called out good morning to Mrs Kowalski to let her know she had arrived, while at the same time cleaning her hands with alcohol gel.
Angel’s job that morning was to help Mrs Kowalski get out of bed, help her walk to the bathroom for a wash, help her get dressed and prepare her breakfast. She would then wash the dishes, clean down the surfaces and put some laundry in the washing machine.
As Mrs Kowalski needed personal care, Angel put on her personal protective equipment (PPE) in the hallway. First, she put on her apron, secured the fluid repellent surgical mask, eye protection (Mrs Kowalski had a habit of sneezing frequently) and lastly her gloves.
While putting on PPE, Angel talked to Mrs Kowalski, explaining why she needed to wear it and how it helps prevent them both being exposed to the virus. Angel changed her gloves and apron and washed her hands between caring for Mrs Kowalski and doing the cleaning tasks.
Angel took off the gloves and apron and disposed of them in the refuse bag she carried with her. She then removed her eye protection, placing it into a designated bag to enable her to decontaminate it later, and put the used gloves and apron bag in the dustbin outside Mrs Kowalski’s house. She then cleaned her hands using the alcohol gel she had brought with her.
As she was going to visit another client just 2 doors away, she did not need to take off her fluid repellent surgical mask, as this was still comfortable, intact and had not been contaminated by any sneezing during the visit.
Angel’s next call was fairly close, so she walked to the flat where the Southwick family live.
Rowan and his wife Hazel lived with their adult son Arran and their pet dog. Rowan has chest problems from his previous occupation as a miner. Rowan understood that because of COVID-19, Angel had to limit contact with his other family members and understood the reasons why the dog and his wife were asked to stay in another room in the flat while Angel helped him to get out of bed and get dressed.
Angel still had her mask on from her previous visit, so she just needed to clean her hands with alcohol gel and put on a new apron and her eye protection, followed by new gloves, which she did when she arrived at the house.
Rowan was usually chesty in the mornings and Angel helped him to cough into his tissues and dispose of them correctly.
When Angel had finished her job and Rowan was comfortable, she called to the rest of the family to say she was finished, but asked for them to give her a few minutes to take off her PPE.
Angel removed her PPE by stepping towards the door, carefully taking off her gloves, placing them in the rubbish bag and cleaning her hands with alcohol gel. She then removed her apron, taking care not to touch the front of the apron and placed the apron in the rubbish bag. Alcohol gelling her hands again before she removed her eye protection, alcohol gelled her hands again and placed the eye protection into a box sealed with a lid for decontamination. She then removed her mask extremely carefully, making sure that she did not touch the front of the mask because it could be contaminated. Finally, she cleaned her hands again with alcohol gel.
She carefully placed the PPE in the rubbish bag, tied the bag securely and placed in the agreed storage area to be disposed of after 72 hours as domestic waste.
Angel had arranged to meet Laila at the next client’s home, so she drove 4 miles to the house of James Jones and his wife, Abbey. They were a younger couple who had learning difficulties but lived a fairly independent life.
Abbey needed double-handed care because she was quite a large lady and her husband could not manage to care for her on his own.
James liked routine and knew the time that the care workers usually arrived, so he would look out for their car, open the door then go into the kitchen while his wife was cared for. He also liked familiarity and got anxious when strangers attended the house.
Laila had not met the couple before, so Angel briefed her about the routine before they went inside.
Both Abbey and James needed a lot of reassurance and comforting. Usually they would all chat in the same room, but because of COVID-19, Angel thought it would be good if James could see Laila through the window first, before she put her PPE on to go into the house, so he wouldn’t get too anxious, as his usual other care worker was on a day off.
Once James understood that Laila was going to help them with Abbey, they went into the house.
Both Angel and Laila put on the PPE in the hallway, first alcohol gelling their hands, putting on their aprons, followed by fluid repellent surgical masks and gloves.
Eye protection wasn’t needed during the care for Abbey, as she was usually fairly well and didn’t suffer from coughs, sneezes or any uncontrolled reactions.
Putting on PPE was becoming routine for Angel and Laila, but they both talked to each other through the steps to make sure the order was right after learning about it from the Public Health England (PHE) video.
Once Abbey was washed, dressed and comfortable and had had a drink Angel and Laila removed their gloves, aprons and mask, and put them into the rubbish bag, cleaned their hands with alcohol gel again and called to James that he could now go back in to see his wife. They asked James to ensure they had at least a 2-metre gap between them while they talked to reassure him that everything was okay.
As both Angel and Laila were going back to the office in individual cars, they had removed and disposed of their masks. They checked that they had extra supplies with them as they now needed to now wear Type I or Type II face masks in communal offices and would put them on before entering the building.