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BREAKING NEWS: First care home coronavirus cases reported

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Two cases of coronavirus have been reported at care homes in Hampshire and Northamptonshire.

A member of staff has tested positive for the virus at Heather Holmes care home in Desborough, Northamptonshire, which is run by Consensus, part of the Caring Homes Group. Hampshire County Council’s Oakridge House Care Home in Basingstoke has, meanwhile, also been closed to visitors after a person tested positive for the virus and was admitted to hospital for treatment.

A Heather Holmes spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a member of staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The health and wellbeing of the people we support, and our members of staff, is our absolute priority. We are working closely with Public Health England and following their instruction.”

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Hampshire’s Director of Public Health, Simon Bryant, said: “We have received confirmation from Public Health England that one case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in a Hampshire County Council care home, Oakridge House. The individual is currently being treated in hospital, and we continue to work very closely with specialists at Public Health England to minimise any spread of the virus.

“The County Council’s care homes operate rigorous infection control procedures at all times to ensure that our residents and staff remain as safe as possible. We will also be taking any further clinical measures that may be required, as per Public Health England’s advice.”

CHP has this week been contacting the nation’s leading care home providers to find out the steps they have been taking to prevent coronavirus infection.

Four Seasons Healthcare told us today they were discouraging visits to its care homes as part of its action plan. Runwood Homes, meanwhile, is suspending all non-essential visits to its services.

Similarly, Healthcare Management Solutions (HCMS) has suspended all non-essential visits while inviting local people to email messages and photos to help residents stay in contact with their community.

Tony Stein, chief executive of HCMS, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our residents is absolutely our top priority, so we have taken the decision that only family, medical professionals and essential maintenance contractors will be permitted to enter our facilities until further notice.

“During the period of reduced external activity in the homes due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are determined that our residents should continue to be able to enjoy the strong links our facilities have with local communities.”

Leading care home operator Barchester Healthcare has also asked family friends and friends to keep their care home visits to a minimum until further notice.

Tags : Caring Homes GroupCoronavirusHealth and Safety
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The author Lee Peart

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