Keeping everyone safe during the Coronavirus pandemic
Face to face appointments during the pandemic.
We want to let you know about some changes we’ve made and what we need you to do, so that you feel reassured and safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.
If you have Coronavirus symptoms, or you need to isolate because of Coronavirus, you must not come in to any of our offices. Instead please contact us to rearrange your appointment, or to get advice.
Limits to numbers of people in the office:
- Limited face to face appointments if you really need it
We are limiting the number of people who are in our offices, to reduce the risk of catching and spreading Coronavirus. This means we are not able to offer as many appointments or run drop-in services at the moment.
- Come on your own if you can
If you do need to bring a companion, please let our team know when you are arranging the appointment.
- If possible, please don’t bring children with you
We don’t have the same toys or entertainment we used to, so that we can keep the building clean. If you cannot find someone to look after your children, please make sure they don’t run around.
Cleaning and sanitizer:
We have placed hand sanitizers at the entrance and throughout the offices, and you will be asked to use this when you come in.
All buildings are regularly cleaned and the meeting rooms will be wiped down before you enter and when you leave.
Visitors to our office will need to wear a face covering such as a mask.
We have disposable masks that you can use if you cannot provide your own. If you are unable to wear a face covering please let a member of the team know, so we can make sure we take other safety measures.
For additional safety, our staff and volunteers will have visors and masks available to wear.
- 2 metre distancing
Everyone needs to follow this; we have placed markings around the office and will be using large interview rooms.
- Plastic shields
We have these in our reception areas to provide added protection. These are also available in interview rooms.
Please see details for each office about waiting rooms, however we are asking everyone to arrive to arrive on time and wait outside before the appointment.
We are prioritising appointments for people who do not have access to a phone, email or video, and for urgent problems which require face to face support. We hope to increase this soon and give you more ways to get help from us. Watch this space!
- Before your appointment please make sure you are well. You must not come if you have symptoms of Coronavirus, or if you are required to isolate.
If you are clinically vulnerable, please speak with our team first to make sure it is suitable for you to come in.
- Prepare your paperwork and make sure you bring everything you need. If possible put your papers in date order, and group any letters by who they are from.
- When you arrive please wait for your appointment time and then ring the bell. At our Worthing office, please wait for one of our team to come and get you.
- At your appointment, we will show you in and invite you to use hand sanitizer and wear your face covering. We will take you to a large interview room. In some cases your appointment will take place in our reception areas; these are larger confidential spaces.
- For everyone’s safety, appointment lengths are being limited depending on the issue you are coming in about.
- We will ventilate rooms between appointments. We may ask you if you would like the window open during your meeting.
- If you have paperwork with you, we may copy these then and there. If there are a lot of papers or it’s busy, we may ask if we can post them to you or arrange for you to collect them.
- We will try to resolve your problem during your appointment. However if this is not possible, we will do as much as we can. If you have access to a phone or video, we may ask you if we can follow up that way. If not we will book another appointment for you.
Test and trace – your data:
If you get advice in person, we might be asked to share your name, contact details and the date of your visit with NHS Test and Trace. This is to help them track cases of Coronavirus. You can opt out of us sharing this data by telling us you don’t want to participate in this – and we will record this when we see you for your appointment.
We have been working hard to get the offices safe for you.
As things change, we hope to open up more interview rooms and bring more volunteers and staff in so that we can offer more appointments.
We are also working with partners across the county to re-open outreach locations and new places. Please keep an eye on our news, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Please click here to view our Covid-19 premises risk assessment.