Nursing home owner praises care workers ‘immense measures’ to combat coronavirus
The manager of a care home where 10 residents have died has questioned the accuracy of coronavirus testing, but welcomed Government plans to offer more tests to the sector.
Anita Astle, who owns and runs Wren Hall Nursing Home in Selston, Nottinghamshire, also paid tribute to care home staff around the country taking “immense measures” to help residents and their relatives.
Ms Astle (pictured), a director at the National Care Association, believes sparse information about Covid-19 has left staff feeling ill-equipped to respond appropriately to the virus.
She told the the BBC’s Breakfast programme: “It’s emotionally and physically draining. People are frightened – they are leaving their own families to care for others and there is also a lack of information.
“So we don’t know what’s the right thing to do.”
Asked for her reaction to the Government’s pledge that all care home residents and staff with symptoms of Covid-19 are to be tested, Ms Astle said: “I welcome it, however the reality is in my own home we had four people tested. Three tested negative, one tested positive.
“So how reliable is the test when everybody was showing the same symptoms?”
The care home owner also said it was extremely difficult to obtain supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, which had not been needed in the care home sector before.
She added: “Our suppliers have never stocked this equipment and certainly never stocked it in these volumes.
“And then there is the added complication of the cost of it. We are paying VAT on this equipment and it’s just escalating the costs of being able to care for people and provide them with what they need.”
All care home and NHS staff are constantly thinking of ways in which they could do more for residents, patients and their loved ones, Ms Astle said, adding: “It’s draining.
“If we allowed it, it’d break us. We are hurting emotionally because every person that either gets the virus or dies from the virus is a personal loss.”
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