HomeCare 1st Choice in Supporting Independence

Support Workers


Monday 22/6/20 UPDATE - Alert Level 1 Work Conditions

New Zealand is now in Alert Level 1 and it is highly unlikely that any COVID-19 is circulating within our communities. However, it is still important to utilise proper Infection control precautions. This means:

• Before starting any appointment with a client, you MUST ask the client whether they are experiencing ANY type of respiratory illness. This includes mild cold-like symptoms, severe flu-like symptoms and everything in-between.

• Advice for the use of PPE is explained in the attached one-page document. In most cases washing of hands is enough, except for when dealing with bodily fluids; in the case of bodily fluids, you MUST wear disposable gloves and a mask. If the client displays any symptoms of illness, they should also wear a mask.

• COVID-19 may no longer be present but it is still important that illnesses that are harmful to the health of the elderly and vulnerable do not have the possibility to spread.

CLICK HERE to view Alert Level 1 PPE instructions.

Thursday 28/5/20 UPDATE

As we head into winter, it’s important that we ensure the health of ourselves, our colleagues and our clients. The letter below contains information about what to do if you feel ill with flu-like symptoms.

CLICK HERE for information relating to your ongoing health.

Monday 18/5/20 UPDATE – Level 2 Rosters

We want to update you with the latest news relating to functioning in Level 2. This update includes:

• Rosters

• Client Screening Process

• Pay for Support Workers

• Ensuring safety on the job

Please take time to read this important information.

CLICK HERE to read letter to Support Workers. CLICK HERE for PPE update. CLICK HERE for Daily Covid-19 Guide.

Monday 18/5/20 UPDATE – Changes to PPE Guidelines

The Ministry of Health have made a slight change to the PPE Guidelines to be consistent with Alert Level 2 guidance. In particular this relates to the need to maintain physical distancing from others. Previously the required distance was 2-metres. This has been changed to a minimum of 1-metre. This includes all clients and others not in your bubble.

CLICK HERE to view the latest Ministry of Health Guidelines.

Wednesday 14/5/20 UPDATE – Moving to Level 2

Moving to Alert Level 2 means we are beginning to restart non-essential supports that were put on hold during lockdown. This is going to be a complex and time-consuming process taking up to 6 weeks as we readjust rosters and client times.

We will soon be providing more information about how we are facilitating this process and how it will affect you. As you are being rostered back on, we will contact you to discuss your work.

As part of the process of bringing people back onto rosters, we will be assessing the risk profile of all people who are currently on Special Leave due to being over 70, or who have serious health conditions, or are immunocompromised.

Wednesday 29/4/20 UPDATE – PPE Use and Covid-19 Guide


While moving to Level 3 is a positive for us all, it remains important that PPE is used correctly. To ensure you are using PPE correctly, please take a time to watch this short (less than five minutes) video from Auckland DHB on how to correctly put on and dispose of PPE.

CLICK HERE to watch video.


The Ministry of Health and District Health Boards have been releasing regular Covid-19 Guides for healthcare workers. These contain important points to remember and reminders on when to wear PPE and on guidelines relating to visiting.

CLICK HERE to view guide.


Here is the latest update with information relating to:

• Home Healthcare’s shift from Level 4 to Level 3 and what that means for Support Workers.

• Details on what we are doing for clients currently receiving no services.

• Pay and Leave details.

• PPE update.

• Covid-19 testing.

Please CLICK HERE for all the latest updates.

Tuesday 21/4/20 UPDATE – Influenza Vaccinations

After much discussion with the Ministry of Health, we can confirm the Ministry of Health has agreed to subsidise the Flu Vaccination up to $35. This means:

• The flu injection for all Support Workers will be subsidised to $35.

• If you have already had your vaccination this year, and paid more than $25 but only claimed back $25, we will be in touch with you to discuss a further reimbursement to include the extra amount owing.

Please CLICK HERE to find out how to take up this offer.

Thursday 9/4/20 IMPORTANT UPDATE – Use of PPE - Guidelines from Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health have just updated their Guidelines for the Use of PPE for Frontline Healthcare Workers. It includes issues relating to:

• Standard health precautions.

• Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

• The supply and distribution of PPE.

• Frequently asked questions relating to PPE.

If you have any further questions, please contact your Coordinator.


Tuesday 7/4/20 IMPORTANT UPDATE – Wearing a Face Mask:

A lot has been said about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE can help prevent infection but it must be used correctly. Incorrect use of PPE can spread infection rather than preventing it.

VisionWest has produced an instruction sheet on the correct way to put on and remove a surgical mask. This is based on World Health Organisation standards. There is also a link to an instructional video - CLICK HERE to view.

Please CLICK HERE to read Wearing a Mask Correctly.

Friday 3/4/20 IMPORTANT UPDATE – Use of PPE:

Please read this letter from Murray Penman, National General Manager VisionWest Home Healthcare. This letter contains the latest information relating to:

• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

• Our new Support Workers Facebook Group.

• Pay and leave entitlements.

• Proof required to show you are an Essential Worker.

• The correct process for entering a client’s home.


Friday 27/3/20 URGENT UPDATE – Use of PPE:

Please read this Ministry Of Health communication on - Personal protective equipment (PPE) used by community care providers for prevention of COVID-19. Includes aged residential care, aged-related community care, disability, hospice, and homecare. Click Here To Read

Wednesday 25/3/20 URGENT UPDATE – Use of PPE:

We understand that you are all worried about PPE.

Providers and the unions have all agreed this statement to go out to all workers immediately.

Please use normal infection control procedures.

In addition please refer to the current Ministry of Health guidance in relation to the use of PPE. This is on their website.

We have been advised that there is an appropriate PPE policy being reviewed as we speak for all workforces under urgency by the Ministry of Health and the National Health Coordination Centre (NHCC).

We will provide an update as soon as this is issued.


VisionWest Home HealthCare services are an essential service and will remain in operation throughout the lockdown period. We will continue to support you safely as we face COVID-19 together.

This means that Support Workers are still required for work, however we are working tirelessly to ensure that you are safe and following all procedures in place for both your protection and that of our clients.

If you are in any of the following categories, please contact us immediately so that we can discuss how you are affected:

  • Over 70 years old
  • Have pre-existing conditions, such as chronic respiratory disease - including severe asthma, bronchiectasis and COPD
  • Are immunocompromised
  • Have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • Have been in contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days
  • Have child caring responsibilities due to your child’s school or ECE being shut

You will have heard that there is a nationwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As a result, we are currently having to limit how much PPE people can have at once.

We are working with our suppliers and District Health Boards to access stocks of PPE so that we can have adequate supplies for support workers.

Hand washing remains the most important step in reducing the spread of infection and will protect you from a host of infections.

Remember the 5 moments of hand hygiene – for all healthcare workers

  • Before client appointment.
  • Before a procedure.
  • After a procedure or exposure to bodily fluid.
  • After client appointment.
  • After leaving the clients home.


Attached are a number of resources that will help you over the coming days:

Alert Level 1 PPE Use Alert Level 1 PPE Use (178 KB)

Health Update 28 May 2020 Health Update 28 May 2020 (115 KB)

Daily Covid-19 Guide 18 May 2020 Daily Covid-19 Guide 18 May 2020 (617 KB)

ppe use for comm care 15 May 2020 ppe use for comm care 15 May 2020 (177 KB)

SW Communications 18 May 2020 SW Communications 18 May 2020 (614 KB)

Daily Covid-19 Guide 22 April 2020 Daily Covid-19 Guide 22 April 2020 (118 KB)

SW Communications 24 April 2020 SW Communications 24 April 2020 (283 KB)

Flu Vac Update 21 April Flu Vac Update 21 April (116 KB)

Use PPE frontline healthcare workers 7apr20 Use PPE frontline healthcare workers 7apr20 (164 KB)

Wearing a mask - Home HealthCare 6 April 2020 Wearing a mask - Home HealthCare 6 April 2020 (165 KB)

SW Communications 02 April 2020 SW Communications 02 April 2020 (617 KB)

COVID-19: When staff arrive at a client’s home COVID-19: When staff arrive at a client’s home (496 KB)

Draft regional process for support workers Draft regional process for support workers (634 KB)

Ministry of Health Recommendations on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by Setting Ministry of Health Recommendations on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by Setting (17 KB)

PPE Instructions PPE Instructions (1294 KB)

Proper Use of Mask HHC Proper Use of Mask HHC (643 KB)

Support Worker Communications Letter 23 March 2020 Support Worker Communications Letter 23 March 2020 (420 KB)

Support Worker COVID-19 FAQs Support Worker COVID-19 FAQs (521 KB)

Visiting People in Self Isolation Visiting People in Self Isolation (465 KB)


Finally, thank you for all your hard work. Without your support, thousands of vulnerable people would not be able to stay safe and live in the community.

We will continue to update our website https://www.homehealthcare.org.nz as changes occur.

For any health-related questions about COVID-19 please contact the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number (0800 358 5453). You can also visit https://covid19.govt.nz/ for more information.