A unit which has cared for more than 80 people during the COVID-19 pandemic is to close as vaccinations take effect.
The COVID-19 Designated Unit at Apple Trees Care Home in Grantham run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) was set up last year as part of an initiative led by the Department of Health and Social Care.
The unit was operated within strict infection control guidelines and had its own designated staff team of 17 led by Unit Manager, Sal Barton, a Registered Nurse who joined OSJCT in December 2016 as Head of Care at Beckside, North Hykeham.
Sal (pictured) said: “I am incredibly proud of the team, we pulled together, followed national guidelines, and strict protocols developed by the Trust, to keep people safe during unprecedented times. We cared for some very vulnerable and frightened people. It was uplifting to see the many who recovered and went home. We also cared for people who sadly lost their lives to the disease too.
“In some ways the certainty that every patient had COVID-19 meant that we knew what we were dealing with. We’ve all had our vaccines now but even before they were available, we were confident that our PPE, protocols and calm methodical ways of working would mitigate the risk, leaving us free to focus on caring for our patients.”
Alina Hackney, Head of Commercial Services, said: “Lincolnshire County Council has worked in partnership with health colleagues to secure dedicated COVID-19 beds in Lincolnshire, to provide safe and effective care to people with a COVID-19 diagnosis or having had contact with COVID-19. This ensured safe isolation periods prior to discharge home to their place of care.
“With the successful uptake in the vaccination programme across the county, alongside the reduction in COVID-19 rates locally and nationally, the contract for Apple Trees is due to finish. Staff have delivered an excellent service and worked closely with health and social care staff to support the residents in their temporary care.”