Coronavirus update 19/03/20

Coronavirus update 19/03/20

The rapidly developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) is obviously a topic of significant concern to us all given the vulnerability of our clients so I wanted to assure and update you about DHI’s plans and services. The wellbeing of our clients is at the heart of our response; however we can’t do this without our amazing workforce. Their health and wellbeing is critical. Be assured we take this seriously.

While we try to maintain business as usual to the degree we can, we have moved to phone and remote support for many of our services. We also have a dedicated page on our website to assist in keeping people up to date about how our services are continuing in the light of the changing coronavirus situation.

Essentially we want to be flexible, keep people safe and informed, but also continue to deliver support in the best way possible under current circumstances. In summary, as of today, this is what our services look like:

  • Rough sleeping outreach (BANES) will be running an extended service with 9 sessions per week, providing help, advice and hygiene packs to those who are on the street.
  • Anyone in B&NES in a housing crisis can contact Reach through our virtual drop-in.
  • Our residential houses (both supported and those let through Home Turf) will of course remain open for tenants and we are doing all we can to protect their health and safety.
  • We will still be providing our needle exchange and naloxone services (BANES and South Gloucs). We will also be providing a needle exchange and Naloxone delivery service for the most vulnerable clients and those who are self-isolating.
  • Assessments and enquires around drugs, alcohol, treatment, and social prescribing will be by phone.
  • Any client with a keyworker across any of our services will still have appointments, but over the phone. Keyworkers will be in touch with their clients to let them know.
  • We will continue to support clients prescribed opioid substitute medication and are working to ensure access to OST is maintained at all times, including when clients are in self isolation.
  • Our families and carers will be able to seek initial support via our free and confidential web service, webFAM.
  • We will also be developing our online information, advice and guidance over the coming days. This will include a group programme delivered via videoconferencing platforms and an online community via Facebook.

In addition to the above, we have detailed plans in place for each service, which we will be sharing with commissioners and key stakeholders as the situation develops. This includes plans for the worst case scenario, where we have a significant reduction in staffing at the same time as a large number of isolated and vulnerable clients in need of essential support services.

Please do check the channels below regularly and support our clients and staff by continuing to widely share information from us.

Please get in touch if there is anything we can help you with, either via your usual point of contact or alternatively at

Best wishes

Rosie Phillips

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