Drug and alcohol treatment staff are included in the government definition of key workers whose children can still attend school during the coronavirus outbreak, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed.
Key workers are able to continue sending their children to school if they are unable to be kept safely at home. While only one parent needs to be a key worker for children to receive school-based childcare, if the children can stay safely at home they should, the guidance states, to ‘limit the chance of the virus spreading’. Charities and workers delivering ‘key frontline services’ have been designated as key public services, the guidance continues.
‘Drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services may find it useful to issue staff with a letter confirming key worker status that can be shared with the school,’ says Collective Voice. The organisation has created a template letter which is available to download from its website.
PHE has also said that it is working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ‘mitigate the impact’ of community pharmacy changes and closures, which is severely reducing the availability of supervised consumption for opioid substitution therapy. ‘Most services already have contingency plans to move people off supervised consumption but these plans now need to be accelerated,’ said PHE.
The template letter from collectivevoice.org.uk is available here