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An update on COVID-19 to residents and families

In this week’s update to residents and families, I wanted to update you on the PPE, funding and testing situation, which I know is dominating the media agenda.

It’s tragic that we have seen COVID-19 affect care homes across the country so deeply. And sadly we’re no exception.

We have now had 18 of our residents die after testing positive for COVID-19 across our sites. Our deepest sympathies go out to their loved ones at this extremely distressing time.

We also know it is also tremendously worrying for those who are ill.

For all of our residents and staff affected during the COVID-19 pandemic we are offering counselling services. We are working with Clarion Counselling to provide this and please speak to the Home Manager to discuss what you need.

There is also a useful list of other counselling and mental health support available in Sheffield:

The more positive news is that the rate of infection rates at our sites is being managed with just one new case reported among residents. 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.

The situation with PPE and testing is also improving slowly, but we are keeping the pressure on national and local government bodies to do more. We also need better, more joined up communication.

For example, I received an email last week from one body with a list of testing sites as far away as Plymouth and Gatwick! We are being deluged with information and these bodies must find a better way of working together.

Locally, we are able to use several sites in Sheffield and Doncaster Airport for staff testing and we will be also continuing to work closely with the public authorities to ensure testing of patients is quick and readily available.

But we still need more financial support and leadership from the local authority. On Friday, I wrote again to the Council offering our advice and assistance on what needs to happen.

You can find out more about this campaign by keeping an eye on our website for the latest news.

To help families get a sense of what’s going on, we’ve increased the number of posts on our Facebook page to give you a glimpse of how we are trying to support our residents and make their lives as comfortable as possible.

We have worked with local schools to ask them to send in art and letters to our residents and we will continue to find new ways of trying to keep residents entertained. We’ve uncovered some hidden talents among our staff and we will be trying to use these as much as possible while visitors are still sadly not allowed on site.

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

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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