Coronavirus: Care homes might have to start asking for volunteers, such as hotel staff, says Scarborough boss

Concerns are being raised about who will look after Scarborough’s vulnerable care home residents if staff are forced to self-isolate because of the coronavirus.

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 6:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 8:09 am

Mike Padgham, Managing Director of the town’s Saint Cecilia's Care Services and chairman of The Independent Care Group, says the industry is already suffering recruitment issues and he is concerned that as more and more people have to self-isolate, care homes across the country could see a staffing crisis.

Mr Padgham, whose firm operates four care businesses in Scarborough, said: “Homes may have to start looking for volunteers.

“Possibly people in other industries that aren’t working at the moment, such as hotels, could come and work in care homes.

Mike Padgham

“It’s about pulling together.”

He said his homes stopped all visitors last weekend. Only in extreme emergencies, such as in end of life care, would any be allowed in.

Even then, a visitor would have to not be showing any symptoms and would need to be escorted in and out of the building to ensure they did not interact with other residents.

Steps are being taken to try to reduce isolation, he said, such as iPads being brought in so that residents can speak with family over Skype.

The homes are also in talks with local schools about asking children to write letters to residents.

Angela Webster, manager of Dulverton House retirement home, in Granville Square, said: “We stopped all visitors unless absolutely necessary from last weekend. We’ve had a deep clean and are sanatising everything two to three times a day.

“We will follow whatever the guidelines are.

“The residents understand but it is frightening for them. We don’t want to isolate them more than necessary.

“We’re going to have more staff to do more activities within the home and we have a garden area so will be doing more activities outside.”