Assert office closure and suspension of all face to face work from Wednesday 18th March until further notice

Dear all,

We are getting in touch to up-date you with regard to plan for service delivery in light of the growing developments of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Assert’s first priority is maintain the wellbeing of our service users, volunteers and staff. In the past week we have up-dated our risk assessment and flu epidemic/ pandemic policy.

Assert are using information from Public Health England, Brighton and Hove City Council and Community Base to help inform our decisions and plans. 

In the interest of ensuring that the spread of COVID 19 is reduced where at all possible, Assert have taken the difficult but important decision to suspend all face to face meetings, groups, courses and activities until further notice. 

Community Base reception will close from 4.30 on Tuesday 17th and Assert staff will be working remotely from home from Wednesday 18th onwards until at least Friday 27th March. The office closure will be reviewed weekly on a Friday and we will share any up-dates with returning to normal office operating via email and the the website. Please find a list of all staff mobile numbers below.

All groups, courses and activities are cancelled until further notice. Please contact the specific member of staff if you have questions about sessions being cancelled. Sadly, courses cannot be delayed until normal service resumes, any missed sessions are cancelled and not postponed. If you have paid a deposit for an activity we can arrange to reimburse this as soon as we have chance to action this. 

During this period, we will look to maintain any 1:1 appointments via Skype or telephone where at all possible. If you have an appointment scheduled with us we will be in touch to discuss how we can provide support remotely. 
Please note that staff may become sick and may need to self isolate. Staff will put the out of office on their email should they need to off work. Staff may also choose to take leave, toil or unpaid leave, but again an out of office email response will be set up if this is the case. A response from staff cannot be guaranteed during this remote working period due to a number of operational limitations. But we will do what we can to offer support where realistic. 

As this is a constantly evolving situation, we are having to regularly monitor what elements of service we can still run remotely, with potential staff illnesses possible and social isolation measures probable. 

Please bear with us in this time. When we know that we can safely re-open the office and re-establish courses, groups and activities, we will update via email and on the bulletin board of the website. 

Staff mobiles are:
Sarah – 07599809331
Julia – 07879567881

Alex-
Jenna – 07564918149
Cat – 07950277420
Nicola – 07902810415



I hope that everyone understands our need to prioritise the safety of everyone who is involved with Assert,

Warm Wishes,

Sarah

Some useful websites to access reliable and up to date information and support are:

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

NHS 111 Online – What to do coronavirus (COVID-19)
Get coronavirus (COVID-19) advice. Find out what to do if: you think you have symptoms; you might have been exposed to the virus when travelling; We’ll ask you a few questions and tell you what to do next.
111.nhs.uk
Assert Guide to Useful Services – Assert Brighton and Hove
Assert supports adults in Brighton and Hove with Asperger syndrome and High Functioning Autism
assertbh.org.uk

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/newshttp://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response – GOV.UK
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. Public Health England is working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with …
www.gov.uk

https://www.mind.org.uk/need-urgent-help/?ctaId=/need-urgent-help/using-this-tool/slices/using-this-tool

Urgent help | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems
If you are finding it difficult to deal with how you’re feeling right now, you shifting your attention onto something else might help.
www.mind.org.uk

https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/whats-new/important-changes-sussex-mental-healthline

Important changes to the Sussex Mental Healthline | Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
The way people access the Sussex Mental Healthline, our telephone service offering support and information to anyone experiencing mental health problems, is changing.
www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Advice for public
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
www.who.int