How the Coronavirus outbreak is affecting Chroma and the wider neuro-rehab sector

As the current strain of Coronavirus (COVID-19) envelops the globe, health services are under increasing pressure to ensure the most vulnerable are taken care of. As the UK’s leading arts therapy provider, we support some of the country’s most vulnerable and are having to adapt to the looming threat of COVID-19.

So far, the spread of the virus has had a limited impact on the delivery of our services, but we have been working with strategic and commercial partners to plan for unexpected times ahead. Therefore we have placed a range of measures across Chroma, that attempt to tackle the only impact and developing advice around COVID19.

Measures include and relate to our therapists, head office staff, business continuity and communication with the local authority, healthcare and education partners, as well as those in Central Government. As these are uncertain times, in unchartered territory, we are continuously working to adapt our plan in response to new updates, but our focus will always be on helping support patients’ health and recovery.

What are we doing to help combat social isolation during this Coronavirus epidemic?

Unfortunately, the ongoing situation in some of our hospital and rehab settings does mean that loved ones are no longer allowed to visit and new patient admissions have been stopped to help reduce the risk of infection. These incidences of social isolation have been highlighted in the press as a situation that could have damaging consequences upon the patients’ mental health and could ultimately be detrimental to patients’ recovery. Therefore, we have introduced the use of technology such as iPad, Skype and Zoom, to help patients stay connected to loved ones via messaging services.

Just the sound of a loved one’s voice can help boost morale and help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. And through the use of technology, loved ones can be contacted any time, allowing the patient to feel as though their loved one is with them throughout the day.

Where appropriate and with guidance from our infection control colleagues we encourage therapy sessions which involve patients and also their carers. Such sessions help cement the bond between patients and carer, which can help the patient feel they are not alone, as well as improve patients overall sense of wellbeing.

How can we ensure working standards are met with COVID-19 looming?

To ensure working standards are met throughout this ongoing crisis, we continue to work with NHS and private healthcare partners to ensure the delivery of a safe and appropriate level of service, consistent with government advice and updates from each setting.

We are a well-established team of Allied Health Professionals who are ready to help all their partner organisations, if asked to by NHS or private providers, to ensure that patients are kept safe.

Throughout this ongoing situation, we have been working with other arts therapies organisations as well as our professional bodies, to ensure a consistent response which highlights ways in which we can work together to get through the impact of COVID19.

With professionalism, adaptability and perseverance, we will continue to offer support during these uncertain times. Based on the current advice from the government, we are working within the parameters of what is known concerning COVID-19.

At this present time, working conditions remain fairly unaffected. Yes, isolation has begun, to help reduce the likelihood of infection to vulnerable patients but work itself continues and recovery rates thrive.