How Multicap is Responding

The Executive Leadership Team at Multicap has been meeting on a regular basis to plan a response to Coronavirus, forming the Emergency Response Team (ERT) in February. This team meets frequently and has created extensive plans to ensure that regardless of the situation, we are able to continue to deliver essential services, support as many customers as possible, and keep as many staff employed as possible – safely and sustainably. We’ve been guided by our existing emergency response/natural disaster procedures, adapting them to suit the Coronavirus pandemic, in order to manage the business and minimise impact to customers, particularly with regards to isolation of people and disrupted supply of items. We’ve also sought advice and input from government agencies and disability services organisations, to ensure our plans are best-practice.

Delivering support services to people with disability is an Essential Service. Our priority is to ensure that our customers’ essential needs are safely met at all times, regardless of the pressures and changes brought about by this pandemic. To do this, while keeping everyone safe and making sure we are following the rules set by the state and federal governments, we’ve had to change the way we deliver some of our services, and how we run the organisation day-to-day. This includes:

  • Pausing our Short Term Accommodation (respite) service for regular bookings, to keep it available for customers and people with disability who may need it in a relocation emergency or for post-hospital care.
  • Cancelling, postponing or amending our events and group activities for our Avegates Social Experience Network program, external community-based Hub activities, and some individual social outings to public spaces, in line with social (physical) distancing rules. 
  • Scaling back some non-essential services to reduce the risk of infection between customers and staff.
  • Changing how we serve people in our Monte Lupo Cafe, moving to takeaway and pre-ordering services only.
  • Using online ordering and designated shopping hours for grocery shopping for our residents in accommodation services, to reduce the risk of contact in the community.
  • Reducing the risk of infection among our staff, by drastically reducing in-person meetings by using videoconference facilities, abiding by physical distancing measures in workplaces, and implementing remote working measures to allow staff to work from home or offsite on a rotational basis in line with the current government restrictions and advice.
  • As more staff return to their workplaces, we are proactively implementing a staged rollout of temperature screening across our services and locations for staff, and for customers who visit our non-residential locations. Screening locations include personal protective equipment and instructions, and customers are being offered training to self-screen if they wish.

With many of our social support activities and events postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future, our staff have been innovating other ways to engage our customers and ensure they do not miss out on social interaction and leisure activities that are important to them. Our Customer Innovation and Specialised Behaviour Support teams have developed resources and plans to support customers during this time, particularly when regular activities and services are unavailable. 

  • Launching an Avegates participants group on Facebook, so customers can stay in contact with each-other while they’re self-isolating at home.
  • Developing resources for staff to use with customers to explain the situation and the regulations/measures put in place, and assist with managing change. You can find these resources on the Keeping Busy While Staying Safe page.
  • Increasing the frequency of communications as required, and we’re using new ways to quickly inform our customers and stakeholders about changes.
  • Adapting some services for online delivery, including Avegates and Music Therapy, to provide customers with continued access while self-isolating. Click here to find out more about our online Music Therapy program.

Update: 24 June 2020
As government restrictions ease in Queensland and New South Wales, Multicap has responded by progressively and conservatively relaxing our COVID-19 preventative measures. This has been done in accordance with government advice and regulations, and always with the health and safety of our customers and team members as a priority. Some of the measures stated above, such as takeaway service only at our Cafe, may no longer be in place after 24 June 2020, whilst others, such as social distancing and increased cleaning and hand hygiene practices, will remain in place until government advises otherwise.


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