Updated as of 4 April 2020

Safeguarding the continuity of care: Homage’s COVID-19 Response

Dear all,

At Homage, our top priority today remains the continued delivery of safe, quality care to families and care recipients. We would like to reassure families and Care Recipients that home care services provided by Homage will proceed as per normal in homes, community settings and outpatient clinics, where home care continuity remains as advised by our Ministry of Health (MOH).

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, Homage receives regular advisories on care continuity directly from MOH. Our team has been promptly adopting and implementing the required safety measures in order to deliver safe care to families in need within our communities.

Rest assured we are continuously and closely monitoring the status of COVID-19 as the situation evolves, and will adapt our protocols accordingly and swiftly to safeguard our families, care recipients, care professionals, hospital partners and employees. Our current safety measures are described below.

In line with the MOH’s official DORSCON Orange advisory, we have stepped up our safety and screening protocols (pre-, during and post-care visits) for both families, care recipients and Care Professionals.

For Families and Care Recipients

1. Mandatory declaration of health, travel and contact history in a two-level screening process for the care recipient, family members and individuals residing in the same household. The screening will first be conducted through phone and Homage Care App by our Care Advisory team upon booking of any care visits. Another screening will be conducted by Care Specialists and CarePros just before the care visits take place.

2. Care Assessments and/or Care Visits may not be able to proceed if any person(s):

    • have symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, coughing or breathlessness in the last 1 week
      (Care Recipients with pre-existing conditions that may result in the above-mentioned symptoms, care assessments and visits may proceed as per normal with a valid doctor’s memo.)
    • have travelled to other countries in the past 14 days
    • have known contact with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 cases
    • are on Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN)
    • are found to have not declared their health, travel and close contact history truthfully

3. All care services within the accident and emergency department (A&E), in-patient wards, and day surgery centres will be temporarily halted until further notice to minimise the possibility of community spread. All home rehab services (physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy) and Care Experiences will also be halted from 5th April 2020.

4. Families who would like to take additional precautionary measures are advised to have surgical masks for Care Recipients and Care Professionals at the location of the care visit.

5. Real-time escalation and contact tracing protocols are in place in the event of a suspect/confirmed COVID-19 case.

    • Ongoing communications with families, care recipients and Care Professionals for any onset of symptoms or close contact history
    • History of all care visits (past, present and upcoming) and the Care Professionals assigned are stored in our central database for easy retrieval and tracing where necessary

For Homage Care Professionals

1. Mandatory health, travel and close contact history declaration before application of care visits and at the start of every care visit from their Homage Care Professional app. Care Professionals found to have not declared their health, travel and close contact statuses truthfully will face immediate suspension and not be allowed to deliver care till further notice.

2. Care Professionals will not be allowed to deliver care for the next 14 days or until they fulfil the respective order / stay-home notice (SHN) with a clean bill of health if they:

    • have symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, coughing or breathlessness in the last 1 week.
    • have travelled to other countries in the past 14 days.
    • have known contact with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 cases.
    • are on Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

3. Care Professionals who are assigned to support our hospital partners will not be assigned to provide home care for families until further notice to minimise the possibility of community spread.

4. Care Professionals are advised to maintain good personal hygiene and strict infection control practices. They will receive a reminder at the start of every visit to:

    • Wear a surgical mask when delivering care.
    • Bring along hand sanitisers and gloves for care visits.
    • Wash your hands with soap before, during and after visits. Follow the 7 steps of handwashing.
    • Minimise direct physical contact with care recipients where possible.

For Care Professionals assigned to healthcare facilities, they will also required to abide by the safety protocols of the respective facility.

5. Real-time escalation and contact tracing protocols are in place in the event of a suspect/confirmed COVID-19 case.

    • Ongoing communications with Care Professionals for any onset of symptoms or close contact history
    • History of all care visits (past, present and upcoming) and the Care Professionals assigned are stored in our central database for easy retrieval and tracing where necessary

The team here at Homage are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and following the latest MOH’s advisories and updates closely in order to provide quality care in adherence with the guidelines. We would like to seek your cooperation in adhering to these safety protocols to ensure a safe visit for both the Care Recipients and Care Professionals.

As a valued member of our community, we appreciate your understanding and believe these measures will help in minimising the impact of associated health risks of COVID-19.

In this critical time, our continued care and support for our residents in their daily living and wellbeing, meeting their nursing and healthcare needs becomes more essential than ever. We will continue to stay true to our mission, in both good and more challenging times.

You may reach us at our hotline 61000055 should you require further assistance. The hotline operating hours are from 9:00am till 9:00pm on weekdays and 9:00am till 6:00pm on weekends and on public holidays. If you would like to communicate your responses or enquiries via email, please send them to [email protected].