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Support Services in Orkney: COVID-19 Response

 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak there will be some necessary changes to the day to day work of the Services who work with Orkney Alcohol & Drugs Partnership to support people affected by the use of substances within our community.

 


Community Mental Health Team

The Community Mental Health Team will be undertaking no face to face appointments for the foreseeable future.

Clients who need to access support and guidance from the CMHT should use one of the following options to get in touch:

 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Phone: 01856888280

NHS Near Me virtual appointments:  https://www.ohb.scot.nhs.uk/nhs-near-me

Clients are requested to not attend the Balfour in person.


Orkney YPeople

Ypeople Orkney, Y-Talk Youth Counselling Service 

Our staff and the people we support are at the centre of everything we do, and their welfare has never been more important to us than it is now. 

With this in mind, we have been putting in place a range of robust measures in order to ensure that their health and safety remains a top priority. 

What are we doing? 

Over the past week, we have worked hard to ensure robust plans are in place to implement the changes required to manage the outbreak of the Coronavirus. 

Ypeople as an organisation has set up local Crisis Teams across all of its geographical areas and the Y-Talk Youth Counselling Service is part of the North area Crisis Team being led by Debbie Sutherland, Operations and Business Manager and supported by Ann Clark, Orkney Service Manager and all other seniors within the services in those areas. 

In line with government advice, all staff from across the organisation who are able to do so, will now work from home. For Youth Counsellors who provide essential services, we have made changes to how we are providing support. 

For the Ypeople Y-Talk Youth Counselling Service, we have made changes to keep staff and the people we support as safe as possible, in line with NHS and Government advice. 

The main changes are as follows: 

  • Although all new referrals will continue to be accepted in the usual way, any youth counselling intake meeting will be carried out over the phone or online. 
  • Face-to-face counselling is not  taking place and the young people accessing counselling have been offered telephone, Skype or online support. Youth Counsellors are able to keep in regular contact via the preferred and agreed method. 
  • Youth Counsellors are providing support, advice and guidance for clients regarding Covid-19, so that they are made aware of what to do in the event of an emergency or experiencing any symptom
  • All group wellbeing sessions have been cancelled. 
  • Counsellors have been made aware of We are With You are online and telephone support via the following: https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/  - Free confidential support to people experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health (online and telephone service https://knowthescore.info/  and  direct contact on  0333 230 9468 Or through Scotland Drinkline on 0300 123 1110. 
  • Staff team meetings, training and support and supervision are all now taking place online utilising Microsoft Teams or E-learning 
  • Managers will liaise with the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership to ensure that the current approach and measures being taken conform to its expectations 
YPeople’s crisis support team, Ann Clark & Debbie Sutherland, can be contacted on the phone at 01856879958 (After 1700) or 07770019138 (Between 0900 and 1700 Monday to Friday) 
 
Young people needing support can still contact the Y-Talk service via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 

Ypeople Orkney Statement Supported Accommodation 

Our staff and the people we support are at the centre of everything we do, and their welfare has never been more important to us than it is now. 

With this in mind, we have been putting in place a range of robust measures in order to ensure that their health and safety remains a top priority. 

What are we doing? 

Over the past week, we have worked hard to ensure robust plans are in place to implement the changes required to manage the outbreak of the Coronavirus. 

Ypeople as an organisation has set up local Crisis Teams across all of its geographical areas and the Ypeople Orkney Young persons’ Supported Accommodation Service is part of the North area Crisis Team being led by Debbie Sutherland, Operations and Business Manager and supported by Ann Clark, Orkney Service Manager and all other seniors within the services in those areas. 

In line with government advice, all staff from across the organisation who are able to do so, will now work from home. For staff teams that provide essential services, we have made changes to how we are providing support. 

For  the Orkney Supported Accommodation, we have made changes to keep staff and the people we support as safe as possible, in line with NHS and Government advice. 

The main changes are as follows: 

·Although all new referrals will continue to be accepted in the usual way, any new referrals will also require us to carry out health screening so that we can identify any individuals who meet the high-risk category. This is to enable us to put appropriate measures in place for them. 

·Face-to-face support will be kept to a minimum. We are in the process of purchasing mobile phones and sim cards for the young people who do not currently have one.  This will allow staff to carry out checks via telephone, where possible. 

·Staff will maintain a minimum safe distance of 2 metres away from the young people and colleagues at all times 

·No visitors are permitted at any service properties, except for healthcare workers attending to a service user who is unwell 

·All communal and staff areas of service properties are deep cleaned by support staff on a daily basis 

·All young people are being provided with anti-bacterial cleaning products to ensure that they can keep their own bedrooms, flats and en-suites hygienically clean

·All group activities have been cancelled 

·​Staff will not take young people in their cars. 

·Staff team meetings, training and support and supervision are all now taking place online utilising Microsoft Teams or E-learning 

·Managers will liaise with the Care Inspectorate to ensure that the current approach and measures being taken conform to its expectations 

If a young person is required to self-isolate: 

·All young people who have been identified as high risk will be asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks, as per current government guidance 

·Any young person who develops symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked to self-isolate for 7 days 

·Any young people sharing a property with someone who has developed Covid-19 symptoms will be required to self-isolate in their own area of the house for 14 days. 

·Any staff who have had close contact will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days  

·All communal areas will be closed to the person infected. 

·All communal areas that the infected individual has come into contact with will be deep cleaned by staff as per government guidance. 

·If more than one person that we support is in infected, within the communal areas these will be turned into an ‘isolation zone’ with immediate access in case of emergencies. 

·So that staff are not risking transmitting the virus, they will follow all prevention controls and remain a minimum of 2m from the service user at all times. 

·Staff will provide phone support to any young person with suspected symptoms. 

·Young people will be given essential items and a 14 -day supply of food which will be purchased and prepared by staff. 

·Prescription medication will be collected by staff for service users and dropped off at their accommodation. 

·Staff will check the service user’s wellbeing by undertaking regular checks, either by telephone, text or speaking to the individual affected through the accommodation door. 

·Staff will continue to undertake weekly key worker meetings with young people, however these will be by telephone or online video facilities, wherever possible. 

·Aprons, gloves and other appropriate PPE equipment will be worn during checks and new PPE equipment will be used for each episode of (non-telephone/remote) support. 

·If a young person refuses to be isolated, staff will contact the NHS and the Police for further advice 

·If a confirmed case is identified, the local Health Protection Team will be contacted, and staff will follow any guidance given by them.

Relationships Scotland Orkney

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, RSO have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all face to face work until further notice from Saturday 21st March in order to protect staff and clients accessing our services. 

RSO will be reviewing service delivery on an ongoing basis with a view to setting alternative service provision up where possible. This needs careful planning and consideration to ensure all staff and clients are as safe as they can be. Please be patient and be assured that RSO will do all they can to offer support to clients in the meantime.

Individual Counselling - We are in the process of developing protocols and agreements so that staff who meet the competencies, and are in a position to do so, can offer their existing clients ongoing telephone or Zoom counselling sessions. We have this in progress and will hopefully be set up for this to begin Monday 30th March. This will be monitored and only offered if we feel we can support staff and clients safely.

Relationship Counselling and Mediation - There are a number of additional considerations to offering these services remotely, we are waiting for the Relationship Scotland National Guidance to be circulated and once we are confident that the individual work is being safely managed we will be in touch with our existing clients with more information.

Play Therapy - This is not available until further notice

Young People Counselling - This might be available to some young people as per Individual Counselling arrangements outlined above. 

Child Contact Centre - This will be closed from Sunday 22nd March. We are hoping that from Saturday 28th March we might be able to offer Managed Handovers, for existing clients only, until further notice. If we do this there will be strict protocols in place for staff and clients to comply with.  

Family Link Work and Substance Misuse Work - We will be offering email support and staff will be in touch with clients in due course.

Office arrangements - Most RSO staff have been set up to work from home. We may have one or two staff in RSO during office hours over the next few days.

If you phone in you can leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can. However, we would prefer you to send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this can be accessed by a few members of staff. 

We will be able to monitor phone calls via VOIP answerphone messages being emailed to the enquiries address, and of course check our own emails remotely, so can still receive and record referrals. However intakes will be put on hold until further notice.

All clients have been notified that we are closing to face to face contact and that we will be in touch to let them know how we might be able to offer any ongoing support. 

Online support for staff - We will be offering all our staff online supervision. It is important that staff can discuss the challenges of a new way of working, feel supported and connected to RSO.

Please take care of yourselves and don't hesitate get in touch if you need to on 01856 877750


Orkney Drugs Dog

In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and national guidelines to reduce infection spread, as a precautionary measure and until further notice, Orkney Drugs Dog will only be carrying out limited duties at Ports of Entry, the Post Office and a number of additional premises as required through partnership working. 

All activity will be risk assessed and precautionary infection control measures applied.  Orkney Drugs Dog will not be undertaking school and community educational visits for the foreseeable future but will recommence full activities in due course.


Orkney Rape & Sexual Assault Service

Due to the current situation with the Coronavirus, ORSAS have made the decision, in order to protect our service, staff, volunteers and people accessing support, to suspend face to face contact and close our Equality Hub at 26 Bridge Street, Kirkwall KW15 1HR for the meantime.

Staff will work remotely and continue to offer telephone, text, IM and video conference support to survivors who are already accessing support. We are calling survivors who are currently supported by us, to offer remote support during this time.

Our face to face prevention work in schools and with youth groups and our COMET+ project is also suspended whilst we explore alternative options .

Our prevention worker is still available by email and phone for consultations with professionals.

We continue to accept new referrals and our landline has been diverted to a mobile phone to prevent us missing calls, as far as possible during normal office hours.

Rape Crisis Scotland is maintaining their national helpline on freephone 08088 010302 ( 6pm -midnight) 7 days a week

Our social media will continue to update our followers on service and other community information – please follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/OrkneyRSAS/,  twitter https://twitter.com/OrkneyRSAS & Instagram https://www.instagram.com/orkneyrsas/

This is a temporary measure which will be reviewed and we will keep you updated on any developments.

Call us on 01856 872298 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  during the office closure and keep in touch!


 Advocacy Orkney

Advocacy Orkney will still be supporting clients and providing advocacy services to clients but will be doing so over the phone or via email wherever possible.

Clients can contact Advocacy Orkney on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01856 870111


 Orkney Womens Aid

Orkney Womens Aid have stopped most face to face contact with clients & most staff are working from home. Clients should call Orkney Womens Aid before coming to the office so that Womens Aid can assess their need. Call Mon- Fri 9-4.30 on 01856 877900, outwith this for emergencies only 07538786885.

You can also access Womens aid via their Social Media on https://en-gb.facebook.com/womensaidorkney/ & @WAOrkney 

Orkney Womens Aid are in the process of setting up the "Near Me" service which clients will be able to access to contact the staff. 


Orkney Blide Trust

The clubhouse building on Victoria Street is closed to members for the foreseeable future. The social enterprise Café 65 on Victoria Street is also closed to the public until further notice.

If you require support from the Blide Trust then you can get in touch the following ways

  • Phone: 01856 874874.
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Text: 07840198022

 Orkney Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowship

Orkney AA have postponed all meetings for the forseeable future. If you require support then you can get in touch with the local organisers of the AA Fellowship in Orkney via mobile - 07802 916577 or you can contact the national AA helpline on 0800 9177650 or email them for support on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

You can also access their online chat facility and speak to someone online at any time, via their website: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/About-AA/Newcomers/Get-help-now


Orkney Alcohol and Drugs Partnership