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02nd July 2021

A Manager’s Guide to Handling Media Enquiries that may relate to the release of Data of Deaths due to or contributed to by COVID-19 by CQC

Ensure that all staff know CQC will be publishing data relating to deaths in care homes on July 21st 2021. This should be conveyed face to face in team meetings or 1-1s.

Ensure;

  • Staff know that the data is originally from Notifications from the home
  • It is acknowledged that information could be upsetting to people using the service, families and the public
  • If people have questions about the information they should be directed to the Registered Manager
  • Staff should not speculate on social media or other platforms. Any questions can be directed to their line managers
  • Staff should be prepped that in the unlikely event they are ‘doorstepped’ at the service by a person enquiring about the rate of deaths linked to COVID-19 they should simply direct the individual to the Registered Manager and make no further comment

Dealing with Media Enquiries

  • All staff operating the telephones should be made aware of the above
  • Staff should always be courteous and respectful when speaking to anyone they come into contact with
  • Full names, telephone number and occupation should be taken with any enquiry relating to the COVID-19 Death Data
  • Do not pre-empt questions giving information that has not been asked for
  • No comments should be given over the phone by members of staff
  • Advise you will pass on their details to the registered manager to contact them
  • If the caller continues to push and ask questions advise them there is no further information you can give them. If they continue, politely tell them you are ending the call

Registered Managers/Providers

As this data will be published by the CQC it will be in the public domain.

As an organisation you should consider whether you wish to write a statement about the information relating to your service which can be used for media purposes and also in any newsletter you wish to share.

You should consider in a statement

  • Acknowledging the tragedy of every loss and how as a service you stand with those families and friends and the wider community
  • Explain how this is information that you have submitted to CQC as part of your CQC registered duties
  • Lay out how you work with the Department of Health and Social Care as well as local partners in the fight against COVID-19 following all government guidelines
  • Tell people how you have supported your staff as well as families through this difficult time and will continue to do so

If you are taking a phone call with the press, ensure your statement is the only information you are giving.

Always seek legal advice if you are unsure of how to proceed.

We have supplied some copies of a simple procedure that staff can follow. You can place a copy by each phone in your service to support your staff.

 

 

How to deal with a Media Enquiry Call

1.    After introducing yourself as you normally would, listen to the caller and what they are asking of you.

2.    Remain calm and courteous and ask for their Name, Contact Number, Occupation and a brief overview of their enquiry – record this.

3.    Do not make any comments, however, reassure the caller that you will pass their details on to the manager of your service.

4.    If the caller pushes you for further information state ‘I have no further information I can give you’.

5.    If they persist, politely repeat that you will pass their details on to the manager and state that you need to end the call.

6.    Remain calm and professional at all times and report the call to your manager at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

How to deal with a Media Enquiry Call

1.    After introducing yourself as you normally would, listen to the caller and what they are asking of you.

2.    Remain calm and courteous and ask for their Name, Contact Number, Occupation and a brief overview of their enquiry – record this.

3.    Do not make any comments, however, reassure the caller that you will pass their details on to the manager of your service.

4.    If the caller pushes you for further information state ‘I have no further information I can give you’.

5.    If they persist, politely repeat that you will pass their details on to the manager and state that you need to end the call.

6.    Remain calm and professional at all times and report the call to your manager at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

How to deal with a Media Enquiry Call

1.    After introducing yourself as you normally would, listen to the caller and what they are asking of you.

2.    Remain calm and courteous and ask for their Name, Contact Number, Occupation and a brief overview of their enquiry – record this.

3.    Do not make any comments, however, reassure the caller that you will pass their details on to the manager of your service.

4.    If the caller pushes you for further information state ‘I have no further information I can give you’.

5.    If they persist, politely repeat that you will pass their details on to the manager and state that you need to end the call.

6.    Remain calm and professional at all times and report the call to your manager at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

How to deal with a Media Enquiry Call

1.    After introducing yourself as you normally would, listen to the caller and what they are asking of you.

2.    Remain calm and courteous and ask for their Name, Contact Number, Occupation and a brief overview of their enquiry – record this.

3.    Do not make any comments, however, reassure the caller that you will pass their details on to the manager of your service.

4.    If the caller pushes you for further information state ‘I have no further information I can give you’.

5.    If they persist, politely repeat that you will pass their details on to the manager and state that you need to end the call.

6.    Remain calm and professional at all times and report the call to your manager at the earliest opportunity.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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