Revd Canon Paul Morris, Principal Chaplain of voluntary workplace chaplains in the Diocese of Derby, writes:
As Principal Chaplain, I have been invited onto the Derbyshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF) Health and Social Care Sub-Group looking at preparedness and response for Covid-19.
Not only will I be the key contact for the 150 voluntary workplace chaplains we have around the County, but I will also be the connector for this group to all diocesan clergy.
On this group are members of Derbyshire County Council (DCC), St. John’s Ambulance, Peak 4x4, CVS, Derbyshire Emergency Volunteers, EMAS, Emergency Planning, and Public Health. Further support will be identified from legal and IT to set up systems, information governance and safeguarding arrangements.
The COVID-19 Community Response Unit (CRU) has these aims:
- To support people in Derbyshire who are adversely impacted by COVID-19 and unable to meet their basic needs due to financial, social or health restrictions
- To support the Health and Social Care System in Derbyshire to continue to function
- To support individuals and families to adhere to self-isolation and maintain physical and mental wellbeing
Although this work will be led by the County Council, it will form part of the LRF COVID-19 response and rely on the co-ordinated effort of all partners. This LRF sub-group will link with an equivalent response group in Derby City, recognising that the LRF covers two upper-tier Local Authorities but that the requirements and scope of the approach will differ between the two Local Authority areas.
The CRU will support Derbyshire residents who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to meet their basic needs due to financial, social or health restrictions. This will include those who are:
- Advised to self-isolate to shield themselves from the virus for medical reasons.
- Already vulnerable, or who become vulnerable as a result of being unable to access their usual services and support.
- Adversely impacted financially by COVID-19.
- Already vulnerable, and self-isolation could pose significant mental and physical challenges.
The CRU will support community efforts wherever possible, to remove or reduce barriers and to enable partners and community groups to respond to local need. This may include looking at provision of resources e.g. grants, buildings and people, and will include a ‘step up’ approach to be developed with adult and children’s social care.
The community response will operate at three levels: Community, Borough/District, County. We will identify those roles and functions which are best carried out at each level and support them. There are many offers of support that have already been made and there is a role for the CRU in matching offers of support to need. There are also organisations that operate countywide and the CRU will have a critical role in informing and coordinating to ensure that there is an equitable level of support across the county.
The CRU will organise practical support for people by organising and deploying staff from DCC and other public bodies that have been identified as available resource, volunteers, community and private organisations.
The roles they may be asked to undertake include, but are not limited to, food shopping and delivery, checking in on the socially isolated, collecting and delivering prescriptions and meal preparation.
There will be a financial hardship fund available for individuals and families via the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund. This will sit alongside the council’s Business Support Fund.
The Welfare Rights Team will provide support to those people who have difficulties accessing benefits due to the reduction in IT access, or those who find themselves sanctioned or in difficulty as a result of COVID-19. There will also be a need to link with support available for funeral costs.
Public Health staff will provide a virtual support offer to promote health and wellbeing for people who are self-isolating. This will include support to address health issues which increase the risk of severe disease from COVID-19 such as smoking and obesity. A mental health and wellbeing offer will be developed to support those who may need it. Loneliness and anxiety are likely to increase as a result of prolonged isolation, as is the risk of suicide. There will also need to be links to bereavement support.
Large scale social isolation is already underway, and the health and social care system is under pressure, so the CRU will mobilise as soon as possible, but a number of practicalities will need to be worked through to enable this to happen safely. These include Safeguarding, Data Protection and HR considerations.
DCC has a range of resources which could be utilised to support the community effort and a mapping exercise will identify what could be available. Potential resources identified so far include staff available for potential redeployment, pool cars, library staff and mobile library facilities, school catering staff and facilities, potential financial resource.
A communications plan will be developed for the CRU. As a first step, a three-pronged approach has been agreed:
- Identify available resources and support – organisations and community groups/networks that are available to help or are already mobilised to help, will be asked to contact DCC so that we can build a picture of what is available across the county.
- Give information about how and where to register as a volunteer to provide support in a range of roles.
- Open communications channels for people who need help.
This is the initial draft scope of the CRU response; an action plan and risk log will be developed shortly.
25 March 2020
WCD is a Local Ecumenical Partnership, sponsored by Churches Together in Derbyshire to carry forward the ministry of the Church in relation to Work and the Workplace. It is responsible for accrediting clergy and authorised laity, on behalf of the Bishops and the leadership of the member churches, to visit and minister to individual workplaces.
•To foster the well-being of those engaged in all sectors of employment.
•To relate to the inherent spirituality and creativity of human endeavour and the quality that it brings to a workforce.
•To engage in economic debate and witness to the conviction that God is active in economic affairs.
•To help transform work and the understanding of work in the light of the Gospel.
•To engage the Church in ministry to the workaday life of all people.
•To enable people to discover the presence of God in their daily work.
•To bring the world of work into the heart of the life of the Church in Derbyshire.
•To bring the compassion and hope of God into the working lives of people.
•To help uphold a sustainable and just economy.
Our chaplains serve in the Industry, Derbyshire Constabulary, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, Transport, Sport, Agriculture, Air Training Corps, Army Cadets sectors.
To find out more, visit www.workplacechaplaincyinderbyshire.org.uk
Derby City Centre Chaplaincy
Derby City Centre Chaplaincy expresses the love of Jesus in public, personal and prophetic ways through a team of chaplains, offering encouragement and support to all people in their workplaces.
Our chaplains serve in Retail and Business, Social Care, GP Surgeries, Education, Derby City Council, Arts and Entertainment, and Homeless Centres
To find out more, visit www.workplacechaplaincyinderbyshire.org.uk
Other Town Centre Chaplaincies
These are in Swadlincote, Belper, Ashbourne, Long Eaton, Ilkeston, Chesterfield, Shirebrook, Buxton, Matlock, Alfreton, and Heanor and Langley Mill.
For further information about WCD and DCCC, email Revd. Canon Paul Morris, WCD and DCCC Principal Chaplain at email@example.com
Major Incident Plan
Bishop Libby introduces the Major Incident Plan as follows:
The nature of disasters and emergencies is unpredictable. We don’t know what the nature of the next emergency will be, or where and when they are going to occur. We do know it is important that appropriately trained people can be relied on to respond quickly with the necessary help.
I have seen the difference chaplaincy support can make in such circumstances, and am pleased our local plans include that contribution. Major Incident Plan Chaplains are recognised by the statutory agencies as having a significant role to play in a major incident or emergency within Derbyshire and Derby City.
We also have chaplains who are trained counsellors, and others who are specialists in supporting people with addictions, disabilities and mental health issues, and families experiencing bereavement or affected by learning difficulties.
For more information or queries please contact Revd. Canon Paul Morris
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
The Spirituality and Wellbeing Service, Ashbourne Centre, Kingsway Hospital, Kingsway, Derby, DE22 3LZ.
For more information please see their website http://www.derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk/services/support/spirituality/
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Derby Hospital, including the Children’s Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby, DE22 3NE. 01332)789500, Voicemail service. Fax: (01332) 789497, dhft.ChaplaincyRDH@nhs.net
For more information please see their website http://www.derbyhospitals.nhs.uk/patients/patient-visitor-services/faith-centre/
Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Hospital, Calow, Chesterfield S44 5BL.
For more information please see their website https://www.chesterfieldroyal.nhs.uk/patients/facilities/chaplaincy
HMP Sudbury (01283) 584000; chaplaincy (01283) 584088,
HMP Foston Hall, (01283) 584300; chaplaincy (01283) 584325