'Frightened' staff at Desborough care home affected by Covid-19 determined to look after residents

Cheaney Court in Desborough has sadly had one resident contract the virus

By Sarah Ward
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 9:55 am
Updated Thursday, 7th May 2020, 9:57 am
Cheaney Court is one of many in Northants that have sadly had a resident contract coronavirus
Cheaney Court is one of many in Northants that have sadly had a resident contract coronavirus

A Desborough care manager whose home has a coronavirus case says staff are frightened but determined to care for residents as their first priority.

Alan Hood, who runs Cheaney Court, said he is unsure how the resident contracted the virus but currently there is only one case at the home in Harrington Road, which specialises in dementia care.

He says he is being open with staff about the situation and is ‘just taking one day at a time’ as he works to keep himself, his staff and residents safe during the pandemic.

Care homes and the elderly have been disproportionately affected by the virus, with more than 6,000 care home residents now confirmed to have died in the UK from COVID related causes.

In Northamptonshire at least 60 care home residents have died and more a fifth of the county’s 51 care homes have had an outbreak.

Mr Hood, said: “I’m very proud of my staff. Yes, we are all frightened. But we are carers who care for and take pride in looking after our residents. They are our priority.”

Mr Hood says he has had lots of support from health bodies such as the county’s clinical commissioning group, public health and the county council which manages adult social care services.

He said: “I get lots of information from the CCG, NHS England and social services.

The CCG staff have been here giving instructions to the staff about personal care equipment. It has been said so many times, but it is unprecedented and we have obviously never experienced anything like this before.

We don’t know how the resident caught it, we have all racked our brains. Did he get it from a member of staff or from some of the equipment? We are just not sure.”

Staff have not been tested on mass although Mr Goodman said there are local arrangements in place for staff who show symptoms to have testing. He said he did not think a mass test exercise for all staff was going to happen as everyone could test negative giving a sense of security, but then a staff member could possibly contract the virus the next.

The manager said the welfare of his staff was a priority and all had been risk assessed. The one staff member who has a heart condition is being given extra consideration when allocating duties. Currently, there are 63 residents living at the home.

Lynda Goodman whose husband Alex is a resident, says the care provided by the home has been excellent but she is concerned for the welfare of staff.

She said: “I just feel so sorry for the staff. They should all be tested. We turn on the tv each day and see the politicians spouting off that care staff are all being tested but that is not the case. They are at the forefront and should be better protected.”

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