Individual service risk assessments and sign-off
Decisions regarding the re-opening of services must be made at a local level. Services should undertake a risk assessment, bringing in the local authority, Health Protection team and the Care Inspectorate, if required.
Each local area should agree which multi-disciplinary group has responsibility for signing off risk assessments for individual services and communicate this with services.
Each individual service must tailor procedures to their own particular setting and circumstances, and to the circumstances, needs and choices of each person and family they support. This also means looking at the individual circumstances of each venue. The advice in this guidance should be used to help services with considering and developing their procedures and risk assessment. Services should also use Back to Business, produced by the Care Inspectorate and Shared Care Scotland for support with this.
Shared Care Scotland has also produced a decision-making guide to help providers determine how and when services can be safely restarted.
Risk assessments of all building-based day service settings must take place to ensure that relevant health and safety legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work Act and Occupiers’ Liability Act and any other legal obligations governing these matters are is fully adhered to. Legislation can often be updated, and at short notice, so whilst links in this document are provided to relevant legislation, and other guidance, anyone using these guidance so ensure they are considering up to date legislation and seek independence advice as needed.
Consideration needs to be given to cleaning regimes, utilities, water quality, fire safety, security, cyber security, ventilation and other practices which will help to ensure safety at work for employees, contractors and other building users.
If regular statutory building/property maintenance or testing was due to take place during the closure and has not been undertaken, then it must be carried out before the building is re-opened as the Health and Safety Executive will expect 100% compliance.
Service risk assessments are expected to consider all risks identified in respect of COVID-19 so that measures can be put in place to control those risks for everyone, and must take account of the relevant guidance from Health Protection Scotland, as above.
Staff and staff representatives such as trade unions should be included in the development of service risk assessments. Where there are local Disabled People Organisations, Carer organisations or similar bodies, they should be consulted where possible.
Services are strongly encouraged to involve staff, those who use the service and unpaid carers in the development of plans to re-open and in any subsequent reviews which should take place on a regular basis, or when any significant change is required.
As there is some evidence that COVID-19 may impact disproportionately on some groups (including Minority Ethnic communities), services should ensure that they engage appropriately with Minority Ethnic supported people and unpaid carers about the support available, particularly where they are anxious about protecting themselves and their families.
A COVID-19 occupational risk assessment tool has been produced to support informed discussions between employers and staff about any additional measures that need to be taken to support staff returning to work. In particular, this is relevant to those staff members who are: returning to work after shielding; those who are returning to normal duties after COVID-19 related restrictions; those who are returning to the workplace after working from home or anyone who has a concern about a particular vulnerability to COVID-19.