Care group employs extra staff to offer care home visiting

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A Yorkshire care group has taken on two new employees as it gears up to welcome back visitors in a controlled way to its care and nursing homes from tomorrow.

Saint Cecilia’s Care Group has hired two Visitor Coordinators to begin Covid-19 tested visits to its homes before Christmas.

The group runs Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home, Saint Cecilia’s Care Home, and Normanby House Care Home in Scarborough and the Alba Rose Care Home in Pickering

Bev Hutchinson and Sharon Graves have joined the care group’s staff and are based at its new testing hub at Eastfield House in Eastfield, to test relatives and friends before they visit loved ones in the Scarborough homes.

Managing Director Mike Padgham said: “We are delighted to be starting tested visits again before Christmas and pleased to welcome Bev and Sharon to the team. They will play a vital role in helping our residents to see their loved ones again after being apart for so long.

“Our residents have been cut off from their family and friends for too long and we believe that by using the lateral flow tests as part of our protection regime, we can enable them to come into our homes once again, which is very exciting. Even though there has been some controversy over the lateral flow tests because of their accuracy, we feel if used with the other measures we are using, as advised by the local authority, the risks of introducing the infection into the homes are significantly reduced.

“In the coming days we hope as many residents as possible will get to see their loved ones again. It is a big undertaking, given that we have 110 residents, and we do appeal to people to be patient, but we are going to do our best but not everyone will be able to their loved one over the festivities.”

The Government announced that care and nursing homes will welcome a return to visiting with Health secretary Matt Hancock saying there would be no need for care providers to introduce additional resources to cope with the new visiting regime.

However, Mr Padgham said: “There was no way we could cope with the current demands without taking on staff to cope with the influx of visitors.

“Everyone is delighted to be reintroducing visiting again as residents and their families and friends have been apart too long. To suggest this will be easy and won’t entail care and nursing homes needing more staff was clearly not accurate.

“Care and nursing homes are at full stretch caring for their residents in the midst of the second wave of Covid-19. If we are to manage this new visiting regime on top of that, we do need extra support.”

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