Message from our CEO
Warmest greetings to all who use the services of The Disability Trust and to our wider community that are finding their way through this toughest of times.
The Disability Trust continues to take a risk management approach to supporting our participants through this period. At the moment there are some service closures especially in relation to community based group activities. Other services are continuing as usual or have been scaled back to meet the requirements of social distancing. From the very outset The Trust has taken the position that we would follow all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of people who use our services and indeed their families and our staff. Keeping people safe has been and still is our number one priority. We understand and deeply regret if changes in the provision of services have adversely impacted you or your family members. If you are experiencing unusual hardship please keep the lines of communication open with your teams at The Trust. Your welfare is our number one concern.
Like everyone in Australia we continue to track the trends in the pandemic and are cautiously optimistic with the results. The pleasing results in Australia means that we are now planning to cautiously and carefully reopen services and reshape them to ensure they are safer and more appropriate. This will be a challenge over weeks not days so please be patient with us. Our staggered approach is being considered in relation to government recommendations at state and federal level.
The Trust has implemented other responses to the pandemic that will remain in place for some time. This includes implementation of social distancing protocols where possible, ramping-up infection control practices, temperature checking staff and visitors to our premises, and thoroughly cleaning our facilities between use. We have also increased monitoring of infection control when visiting family homes of participants.
We are well stocked in relation to hand sanitiser and more recently after considerable effort we are pleased to say that our stocks of Personal Protective Equipment have now reached our demand estimates for an outbreak. We of course hope that no outbreak ever occurs but in the event of such a crisis unfolding we are assembling a surge response team of highly trained and experienced staff able to be redeployed to relieve and support the active on-site teams. In such an event we will promise to communicate with you every step of the way and be honest and open about any unfolding situations.
Many of our staff may not be as visible to you with The Trust adopting a policy of working from home if possible. It is important for you to know that we are still here for you and we encourage you to provide us with feedback or ask us questions as we progress through these challenging times.
Finally The Disability Trust has a duty to support the broader community preventative strategies. We are encouraging people to download the COVIDsafe app. I have taken this step myself personally to demonstrate support for those in our community most likely to be impacted by an outbreak.
Another way to keep our communities safe is to follow recommendations in relation to testing if you have any symptoms whatsoever and of course do not enter our offices or facilities if you are even mildly unwell.
During this crisis in Australia we have witnessed some of the best of humanity in the care and support that people have provided for each other. In terms of the world post COVID-19 lets take the opportunity that this pause provides to start to dream again of a better future for people with a disability.