My Options - COVID-19 service updates


My Options logo

Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of the people who access our services and our staff.

During these unprecedented times we have had to review our services to meet Government COVID guidelines.

We, like other care and support providers, continue to consider and plan new ways of working to meet the strict COVID Government guidance around social distancing and health and safety. This means currently access to buildings, transport and community facilities is not the same as it was before COVID.

This webpage will explain how each of the services provided by My Options is currently operating in line with the Government COVID guidance. The page will be updated regularly but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the team on 01952 381317 or my.options@telford.gov.uk.
 

As COVID restrictions are now starting to be eased by the Government, I wanted to contact you to give you an update on how My Options is looking to incorporate those changes in our service delivery.

During the recent lockdown period we have continued to work really hard across all of the My Options service areas to deliver a quality service in line with Government and Public Health guidance with a priority of keeping both people who use our services and our staff safe. During the most recent lockdown we have continued to provide direct individual outreach support and our virtual activity programme, we have also continued to provide a building based service for those clients identified with the highest level of need.

At the end of March we saw Government guidance around shielding lifted and alongside our colleagues in the ALD Social Work team we are now contacting those customers who had been shielding to discuss their current needs and how My Options can look to meet them. However, I must stress that, in line with the latest Government and Public Health guidelines, there will continue to be reduced building based support with this being again limited to those customers with the highest level of need.

From 12 April 2021 as we see community facilities begin to re-open, our Community Outreach services will be able to offer support to individuals and small groups in the community for those customers who require this. This will be in addition to our My Options Connect virtual programme and Community Outreach Support programme which as mentioned have continued to provide a service throughout the lockdown. Our Shared Lives and Shared Lives day support offer will also restart.  

As before, safety is paramount and we will be making sure everything is in place, including appropriate risk assessments, PPE and infection control procedures etc. in line with the latest guidance. 

Whilst there is no immediate change to our building based support at Southwood and the Wellbeing Centre, we will of course continue to review this in line with Government and Public Health guidance and individual’s needs.

The Skills and Enterprise Hub, without doubt is our least COVID compliant building. However in order to move forward we plan to start using this building for our Stepping into Work programme, utilising only the upper floor. This is in line with Health and Safety guidance and comprehensive risk assessments.

As referenced earlier we will of course continue to review our service offer in line with the needs, aspirations and identified outcomes of people using our services and any changes in Government and Public Health guidance.

Looking to the future, as you may be aware the Council are currently undertaking a consultation to seek views regarding a new 5 year Learning Disability Strategy to identify what more can be done for all people with a learning disability in Telford and Wrekin to live well, as independently as possible. I would encourage you all to look at the proposals and feed in your thoughts. View our Learning Disabilities Programme page to find out how to get involved and take a few minutes to fill in our survey. The consultation comes to an end on the 29 April 2021, we will then look to further review the My Options service delivery in response to the new Learning Disability strategy.

If you have any quires about the details of this letter please contact us on 01952 381317 or email myoptions@telford.gov.uk.

Due to the variety of services on offer, each person who will be accessing a service will be receiving a personalised letter explaining what their new service looks like. The letter will also detail any requirements from them as well as highlighting any health and safety aspects.

Extensive risk assessments have been undertaken for the buildings, people accessing the buildings, our team and for all of the activities that will be undertaken. Should you require more information please contact My Options. This includes ensuring that our team are wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment at all times.

Download the PPE guide for community health and social care settings: what PPE to wear and when – an illustrative guide.

Lakewood Court continues to provide a full service to its residents. However, visits are restricted to essential visits only, in line with the latest Government and Public Health England advice.

Due to the COVID Government Guidance we are unable to currently provide the same services that we did before COVID. Following on from Care Act reviews with individuals, undertaken by the Learning Disability and Autism Social Work team, the service adapted its offer to meet needs whilst adhering to the Government Guidance.

Currently My Options is able to offer the following Day Activity Provision:

  • My Options Connect - Virtual Group Activity Programmes focussing on developing skills. This includes using technology safely, independent living skills, looking after yourself, getting active, connecting with friends and local communities and Stepping in Work.
  • Community Outreach – individual and group direct support helping individuals to develop skills, independence and community participation. This could be in the home, community or workplace and can involve linking people, family carers and communities. Please note that due to COVID groups are a maximum of 4 people in a bubble, including our team members.
  • Building Based Activities – supporting people with the highest level of needs within Southwood and the Wellbeing Centre. Due to the current COVID Government Guidance, there are limited places available as the number of people who can be in the buildings has reduced significantly. People who are attending this provision have been identified and assessed through individual care reviews with the Learning Disability and Autism Social Work team.
  • Stepping into Work – this is currently operating virtually through the My Options Connect platform.

As COVID restrictions are now starting to be eased by the Government, alongside our colleagues in the ALD Social Work team we are now contacting those customers who had been shielding to discuss their current needs and how My Options can look to meet them. However, I must stress that, in line with the latest Government and Public Health guidelines, there will continue to be reduced building based support with this being again limited to those customers with the highest level of need.

From 12 April 2021 as we see community facilities begin to re-open, our Community Outreach services will be able to offer support to individuals and small groups in the community for those customers who require this. This will be in addition to our My Options Connect virtual programme and Community Outreach Support programme which as mentioned have continued to provide a service throughout the lockdown.

As before, safety is paramount and we will be making sure everything is in place, including appropriate risk assessments, PPE and infection control procedures etc. in line with the latest guidance. 

Whilst there is no immediate change to our building based support at Southwood and the Wellbeing Centre, we will of course continue to review this in line with Government and Public Health guidance and individual’s needs

Skills and Enterprise Hub

The Skills and Enterprise Hub is without doubt is our least COVID compliant building. However in order to move forward we plan to start using this building for our Stepping into Work programme, utilising only the upper floor. This is in line with Health and Safety guidance and comprehensive risk assessments.

As referenced earlier we will of course continue to review our service offer in line with the needs, aspirations and identified outcomes of people using our services and any changes in Government and Public Health guidance.

TWIGS

We are currently working with our health and safety advisors to reintroduce the TWIGS service that is COVID compliant. However, it will not be able to undertake activities at the homes of our existing TWIGS customers at this time but we are looking at options for undertaking similar activities in COVID secure environments.

My Options Young People’s Services continue to follow Government and Public Health England guidance in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic and changing lockdown restrictions, so we can ensure the safety of our customers and staff in the activities the service provides.

We will continue to work with families who have significant needs through their allocated Case Workers or Social Workers. The guidelines and advice remain in place about minimising contacts and social distancing, and in addition, the Council’s Public Health team are also advising against providing care and support in a group setting.

Therefore, we will not be able to offer the usual Sports and Leisure, Arts and Youth Club activities due to the current restrictions.

We will however, continue to be able to offer our My Options, Young People’s Services, PA service where we can support at 1:1 or a 2:1 basis.

We understand that many families many find this lockdown period challenging. If you find yourself in this position please contact your allocated worker from the Children with Disabilities Team. If you do not have an allocated worker, contact Family Connect on 01952 385383.

We remain committed to supporting children and families. We thank families for their continued understanding of the complexities and that provisions have to be based on a social care needs led risk assessment. 

Our Shared Lives carers continue to provide long term and respite services, whilst complying with all of the current Government COVID guidelines.

X Roads continues to provide a service adhering to Government COVID Guidelines, however, visiting to X Roads is restricted. For further information please contact the team on 01952 381317 or my.options@telford.gov.uk.

Community Support and Help at Hand continue to provide their services, whilst complying with all of the current Government COVID guidelines.

We recognise that with the current COVID-19 restrictions it is difficult for us to get together directly so we have put in place several options:

  • Share your views and ideas with us by email to LDengagement@telford.gov.uk;
  • Share your views and ideas with us by letter to Deb Williams, My Options, Ground Floor, A Wing, Darby House, Lawn Central, Telford, TF3 4JA;
  • Speak to us directly in a one to one telephone appointment with either Deb Williams (Service Delivery Manager My Options), or Andrew Meredith – to book an appointment telephone 01952 381317.

The Learning Disability Engagement is also a way to tell us what you think about the provision for adults with learning disabilities across the Borough (including health, community provisions, employment and impact of COVID). For more information about how to get involved please view the Learning Disability Programme before 11 November 2020.

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic we are constantly reviewing our service to ensure they meet the current Government guidelines. To make sure you aware of any changes during this time we have set up this new web-page to provide any updates as and when they happen, as well as providing a series of frequently asked questions.

We will also continue to keep you updated through direct communication like this and through social media avenues.

My Options

Telephone: 01952 381317
Email: my.options@telford.gov.uk


Family Connect

Telephone: 01952 385385
Email: familyconnect@telford.gov.uk


Learning Disability and Autism team

Telephone: 01952 385577


Carer Emergency Response

Telephone: 0800 652 0442


Carers Centre

Telephone: 01952 240209


Helpline for Urgent Medical Advice including Shropdoc

Telephone: 111


Out of Hours Emergency Social Work Team

Telephone: 01952 676500


Mental Health Support

Telephone: 0300 124 0361


Branches

The local voluntary organisation supporting mental health

Telephone: 01952 899205