'Small number of Covid-19 deaths' at care home
- Credit: ASKHAM HOUSE
A "small number of residents" at a Doddington care home have died from coronavirus.
However, the home says they have been following correct safety measures throughout the pandemic and are currently "free of Covid-19".
The news comes after reports of Covid-19 related deaths at the care home.
Aliyyah-Begum Nasser, director at Askham Village Community, said that "last year, we did very sadly lose a small number of our elderly residents to Covid-19 infection. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families."
She added that the care home has had "strict control measures in place" since the start of the pandemic as well as restrictions on access for non-essential visitors and staff.
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"Sadly, despite these measures, the virulence of Covid-19 saw it bypass these precautions," she said, adding that Askham is currently "free of coronavirus".
She added that two Care Quality Commission inspections were carried out during last year’s initial outbreak: "Their findings highlighted that we follow shielding and social distancing rules, as well as promote safety through the layout and hygiene practices of our premises."
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"They also recognised our infection prevention and control policy was up to date and that all staff were using PPE effectively and safely."
The statement from Askham House reads: "As most people are aware the care sector has been very hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, with care facilities throughout the UK experiencing a high number of deaths.
"Given the vulnerability of care recipients, and the devastating nature of Covid-19 combined with its extremely virulent nature, providers across the sector have had great difficulty in containing its threat.
"Unfortunately, here at Askham, we’ve not been immune from this and, last year, we did very sadly lose a small number of our elderly residents to Covid-19 infection.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families. We’re very much a community and any loss is felt keenly amongst both staff and fellow residents.
"The nature of our services means we cater to the most vulnerable in society, and health and safety measures have always been our utmost priority.
"Since the threat of coronavirus emerged last March, we have had strict control measures in place, restricting access for non-essential visitors and staff, while ensuring robust containment procedures.
"Sadly, despite these measures, the virulence of Covid-19 saw it bypass these precautions. As we’re seeing elsewhere in the country, the spread of the virus, and its new strains, are outpacing even the most stringent of health and safety procedures.
"At the time of writing this, however, we are pleased to state that Askham is free of coronavirus.
"Two CQC inspections were carried out during last year’s outbreak and their findings highlighted that we follow shielding and social distancing rules, as well as promote safety through the layout and hygiene practices of our premises.
"They also recognised our infection prevention and control policy was up to date and that all staff were using PPE effectively and safely.
"The staff have been incredible throughout the pandemic, with everyone pulling together and picking up each other’s shifts or taking on extra to ensure resident safety, when others were isolating.
"The PPE supply has also greatly helped and we continue to implement rigorous control measures in a bid to do all we can to keep both our staff and residents safe. This will continue until the threat of the virus has passed.
"The challenges brought on by the coronavirus crisis have seen everyone associated with Askham display inspirational levels of resilience, compassion and camaraderie – something that we’ve looked to extend to the wider community.
"For instance, we’re currently exploring with the local surgery how our transport facilities can support the local community to access vaccinations as swiftly as possible.
"We hope that with the vaccine programme gathering pace, that soon, this dreadful period will be over.”