November 5 Update
“The announcement of a second lockdown, beginning at 00:01 on Thursday 5th November, does not impact on the Merlin MS Centre and therefore we will remain open for therapies and support, including oxygen therapy, individual and group physiotherapy with Mel, Ash and Jackie. We are taking further advice on home visits and Mel will be in touch. The new national restrictions state in section 4: "Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities…... Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes ….people with long-term illnesses…”
We advise all service users to read the recent guidance available on the government website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november) . Within this guidance people living with chronic neurological conditions, such as MS, (section 9) are now classed as clinically vulnerable. The guidance further states that there is no requirement for this group to 'shield' and the recommendations are that you continue to socially distance, wear a mask, wash your hands regularly and sanitise frequently touched areas of your home or work place. If you have any concerns or questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Keeping you safe when you visit the Centre
The safety of those who use the services; our volunteers and staff is paramount. We have done everything we can to make the Centre as safe as possible. Here are some of the changes we have implemented;
- All visitors and therapists will need to wear face coverings when entering the building.
- Contactless temperature checks on arrival.
- Two-metre social distancing and one-way systems in operation throughout the Centre.
- Sanitise stations are positioned at the main entrance and at all fire exits
- No communal waiting areas
- Regular deep cleans and additional cleaning between appointments are being carried out.
- All therapy staff are in full PPE
Please arrive for your appointment on time. If early we ask that you wait in your car until your appointment time.
Services currently available
Please note therapies are running at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing and additional cleaning.
1.1 Physiotherapy, socially distanced exercise sessions.
Oxygen therapy- external 'oxygen-only' is currently not available due to social distancing measures.
Other therapies such as counselling, health and wellbeing, podiarty and the GP Practise are all running. Please contact the individual therapists with any queries relating to your appointment.
Merlin MS Centre COVID-19 Response
It is a very difficult and challenging time for everyone in our communities, but especially vulnerable people living with long-term health conditions and have been told to self-isolate for three months. We know this is a worrying time, for our service users who are particularly at high risk, but also for many of our volunteers who are older and are being asked to self-isolate/socially distance.
Our clinical team is currently prioritising the most vulnerable who due to age, disability/chronic health conditions, rural and self-isolation and/or lack of family support, cannot get essential supplies, medication or other practical help or advice about their health and mental well-being - if we cannot provide our expert clinical advice then they are likely to call upon the already over-burdened health and social care system.
Keep in Touch Programme
We have a number of clients who fit into our high priority who may require daily contact, but even where there are people with support networks, the expertise of our clinical team will be important in giving advice on physical and mental well-being – this is essential for anyone living with chronic conditions and particularly at this time when social contact is dramatically reduced. Sadly, as time goes on and the virus spreads support networks may also diminish.
The team have also put together a programme of virtual exercise classes that service users can access at home. It is vital for both mental and physical well-being that there is some continuity in therapy.
Our income streams have come to an abrupt halt and our small income generation team are busy looking at virtual fundraising ideas as well as applying for grants so that we are able to reopen the Centre in the future.
Send a donation via BACS to sort code 40-16-06 acc 41408046
or donate via our just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/merlincovid19