23 residents and 13 staff at Desborough care home test positive for coronavirus

Cheaney Court had unknowingly taken in three patients with the virus from the NHS in recent weeks

By Sarah Ward
Monday, 22nd June 2020, 7:12 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd June 2020, 8:02 pm
Lynda Goodman, pictured here with her husband Alex, had already complained to the hospital about discharging residents into the home. Alex now has the virus.
Lynda Goodman, pictured here with her husband Alex, had already complained to the hospital about discharging residents into the home. Alex now has the virus.

A total of 23 residents and 13 members of staff have tested positive for Covid-19 at a Desborough care home that unwittingly took in NHS patients with the virus.

Cheaney Court has said today (Monday) that following recent tests there has been an outbreak at the home, with long-standing residents and staff coming down with the virus that has been killing elderly care home residents across the country in their thousands.

The home says it had been Covid-free for several weeks until three NHS patients were transferred into the setting between May 25 and June 4 with the virus after being discharged from Kettering General Hospital and Cransley Hospice.

Cheaney Court was covid free for several weeks before three NHS patients were sent in.

When they were sent in their paperwork said they had tested negative for coronavirus. Immediate tests done by the care home showed that all three sadly had the virus.

A spokesman for Cheaney Court Care Home said: “We require written confirmation of a negative Covid-19 test before any resident is admitted. Our policy also ensures that all incoming residents are placed in isolation and are tested again by us. As a result of these precautions we were able to identify three people admitted from NHS facilities in the past month who tested positive.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, a number of other residents and staff have subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. The majority are now reaching the end of the cycle and medical advice, happily, indicates that everyone looks likely to recover.

“The home is coping extremely well under the circumstances and morale amongst staff and residents alike is very good.”

Lynda Goodman’s husband Alex, 80, is one of those who has tested positive for the virus and she is devastated to find her husband has now contracted Covid-19.

She said: “I am absolutely gutted. This was my worst fear that Alex would get the virus. The home called me yesterday to tell me and the carer was almost in tears when she told me.

“Alex was very disorientated and his blood pressure was low and he had a fever. But they say his temperature is normal now. The staff are doing their very best for him.

“I said in no circumstances is he to go to Kettering General Hospital.”

Mrs Goodman is only complimentary about the care her husband, who has dementia and cancer, has had from Cheaney Court. After she complained to Kettering General Hospital’s Patient Advice Liaison Service following the three patients being sent into the home with the virus, the complaints body said they would be conducting an internal investigation into what happened as it is not the hospital’s policy to transfer patients with Covid into care homes.

When the situation at Cheaney Court first came to light Kettering General Hospital’s medical director Andrew Chilton said the guidelines the hospital is working to had been approved by the county’s health and social care system and adhered to national guidelines.

The hospital said it ‘used the best tests possible’ but only 75 per cent of tests carried out are accurate.

Cheaney Court is part of the Minister Care company, which also runs Temple Court in Kettering.

So far 85 homes of the 250 care homes in Northants have had a Covid outbreak. In March there was a mass discharge of 250 patients from the county’s two hospitals into care homes to free up beds for the anticipated surge in Covid-19 patients.

This was done before mandatory testing was in place.