Coronavirus: Scarborough care group boss says care homes in the town are prepared for potential outbreak

Care providers in Scarborough are working with other agencies to ensure it is business as usual in the care of older and vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Monday, 9th March 2020, 11:25 am
Updated Monday, 9th March 2020, 11:26 am

The Independent Care Group (ICG), the recognised representative body for independent care providers in York and North Yorkshire, is working closely with the area’s local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to create a co-ordinated approach to a possible outbreak of the virus.

Mike Padgham, who owns the Scarborough-based Saint Cecilia’s Care Group which runs four care homes in the town, is the ICG's chairman.

Mike Padgham. Picture: JPI Media

Of a potential outbreak of the virus, Mr Padgham said: “At the moment the latest advice through Public Health England is that care providers should operate as normal and we are adhering to their advice.

“At the same time, we know that we care for some of the oldest and most vulnerable people and so it is sensible that we have a plan in place for dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We are very pleased to be working with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups in making sure our clients get the best care.”

At the same time, The ICG is reinforcing the message to care providers on the need for extra vigilance in terms of hygiene and cleanliness.

“Care providers are always at the forefront in terms of cleanliness, as we are looking after vulnerable groups but it never hurts to remind people of the need to be extra vigilant in this area and to follow the guidance of Public Health England,” Mr Padgham added. “We are asking providers to test their contingency plans, which they already have in place, and to contact the ICG or the county or city council, if they are concerned or may need extra support.”

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is part of a family of viruses called coronavirus.

Symptoms of the virus are a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.

The majority of people (81 per cent) experience mild symptoms. People with existing medical conditions are more likely to develop severe symptoms.

As of 9am on March 8 2020, 23,513 people have been tested in the UK, of which 23,240 were confirmed negative and 273 were confirmed as positive.

Two patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.

There are 18 confirmed cases in the North East and Yorkshire, of which three are in York but none have yet been reported in the rest of North Yorkshire.

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.