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An update on COVID-19 to residents and families

Let’s recognise our care superheroes

In this week’s update to residents and families, I want to focus on the amazing work our staff are doing in challenging circumstances.

But, first I’ll provide an update on how COVID-19 is affecting us. We are desperately sad to confirm that 16 of our residents have now died after testing positive for COVID-19 across our sites. Our deepest sympathies go out to their loved ones at this extremely distressing time.

Our staff member who was in intensive care is now back on general wards and we all hope they make a fully recovery. We miss their dedication to our residents and colleagues miss them too.

While others are off ill with symptoms or isolating themselves as they have underlying conditions, we have been in discussions with the NHS and the Council to maintain safe staffing levels, we have also shut down our sister staffing agency Heritage Oaks Healthcare to external providers, to ensure we prioritise our own homes first. We hope to support other providers when we have more staff available to us.

Infection rates at our sites have slowed in the past week and rest assured we are doing everything we can to prevent the transmission of the disease. We work closely with Public Health England and infection control teams at the hospital to ensure we operate to the highest standards.

Our communications to get the Local Authority to realise the issues we are facing on the front line are ongoing. While there is a way to go to get the funding we need, I did get a personal reply from the leaders of the Council and some of our local MPs pledging to do more to help. We do stress that we need this help now and that other providers need the support we have been lacking during the last month. You can find out more about this campaign by keeping an eye on our website for the latest news.

Despite the devastating effects on this virus on our community, our staff are genuine heroes. We can only ask that you keep supporting our teams and sharing our Facebook posts to support them during the most challenging of times.

I say it every week, but they are performing miracles under very challenging circumstances.

What’s so important to them – and me – is to also try and keep a smile on our residents’ faces.

The online home of positive news, The Rooftop, featured some of the work we have been doing.

Our staff have been singing and dancing for our residents, when time allows – it’s not often they will get private performances like these!

We have worked with local schools to ask them to send in art and letters to our residents (we will be posting these on our Facebook page so you can see them too).

We’ve had lovely messages of support from the local community offering us PPE and any support we need.

One idea we’ve had is if you want to show your support, we also thought our local community may like to make #CakeForCarers and we will have more on how to get involved with this in the coming days.

We will NEVER forget the spirit of the community and what they are doing for us it is really amazing.

“The little things can make a BIG difference”. That is my motto during this difficult time.

Palms Row will provide all of the necessary support to make sure that ongoing care for residents continues in the same high standards that we have provided for many years, but we will also continue to put pressure on those who make the decisions not to forget about care homes during this crisis.

Nicola Richards,


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