Praise for Oxfordshire's inspirational care teams

Carers for vulnerable and elderly adults are among frontline staff praised for delivering high quality care services in Oxfordshire, during the coronavirus outbreak.

While large numbers of Oxfordshire County Council staff work from home in line with the Government’s guidelines, key worker teams, care providers and personal assistants go above and beyond the call of duty to deliver essential and flexible services across the county.

The business continuity plans have ensured that the adult services team continue to provide ‘business as usual’ support to residents who can continue to live independently and comfortably at home.

Across adult social care for Oxfordshire, 850 hours of home care has been organised in the past two weeks to support residents at home, above average for this time of the year.

The Hospital Teams have supported over 250 people to be discharged from hospital in the last two weeks which supports the system to ensure there is required capacity for medical treatment.

The Council has an Approved Mental Health Professional Team who have maintained the level of service at this challenging time and have carried out 23[1] Mental Health Act assessments and are continuing to work closely with partner agencies.

Other proactive tasks for people to receive support include social workers remotely assessing and coordinating care reviews using online technology to provide support and answer questions.

Stephen Chandler, the Director for Adult Social Care at Oxfordshire County Council said: “We work with inspirational and dedicated professionals and I would like to express my sincere personal thanks on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council for all that you are doing. Our teams of social workers, care providers, personal assistants and carers are observing social distancing and still providing care while using innovative ways to facilitate safe and timely discharges.

He said: “Our health care partners and hospital teams are working extremely hard to support the impact of changes linked to COVID 19. Thank you to our external suppliers who are at the front line to deliver dedicated care for those who are vulnerable and experiencing high levels of sickness in their homes. These are exceptionally difficult times for everyone and there’s a huge amount of adjusting and adapting going on. The team work I have witnessed has been incredible with people supporting each other with tireless dedication and commitment that I’m sure will continue throughout this crisis.”


Local authorities across Oxfordshire have worked with the local voluntary and community Sector, to develop a simple point of contact for those who have been told by government that they have been identified as extremely vulnerable, and who have no support network and would otherwise be completely isolated.

To solve this concern, a dedicated phone line manned by a centralised team is available to offer advice on a range of issues as a friendly and approachable way to keep in touch.

Stephen Chandler said: “We know this long-term restriction may cause additional concerns for those without any nearby support and we want to make sure any shielded resident who doesn’t know where to turn is not handling these additional worries alone.”

The dedicated shielded phone line is available to anyone who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and is worried and needs support. The team will be able to offer advice on a range of issues when you contact them on 01865 89 78 20 or email shield@oxfordshire.gov.uk. From Saturday 30th May the opening hours will be 9am-6pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturday. Closed on Sunday.

If you live in Oxford City, you can also phone 01865 24 98 11 between 8am and 5pm or visit www.oxford.gov.uk/CommunityAssistance

Meanwhile, residents are encouraged to channel and encourage the community spirit of ‘we’re all in this together’ with the ‘hand it back’ campaign. The local authority is supporting the NHS to ask residents to give unused health equipment back. Items can be recycled and reused such as: chairs, beds, mattresses, electrical items, bed rails, walking and toilet frames, and slings that can be collected by NRS healthcare while observing social distancing.

For further information about the ‘hand it back’ campaign, contact NRS to arrange a FREE collection of health care equipment that is no longer needed. Call NRS Healthcare on: 01869 225 420 or email enquiries@oxfordshire.nrs-uk.net Please do not attempt to return the equipment in person.