A North Yorkshire care group has cared for more than 100 poorly Covid-19 patients during the past year of the pandemic.
Saint Cecilia’s Care Group agreed to take in discharged Covid-19 patients at its nursing home in Scarborough to free up much-needed hospital beds.
Now that that need has passed, the care group is delighted to have played its part in the national effort to tackle the virus.
Managing Director Mike Padgham said: “Twice during the pandemic we have agreed for Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home to become a designated setting to care for those with Covid-19 as part of a pioneering scheme with North Yorkshire County Council
“This has meant that we dedicated a floor at the home to be isolated so that those with the virus could get the care they needed without impacting upon the rest of the home.
“The floor in effect became a hospital ward with an altogether more rigorous regime of hygiene and infection control in place to ensure the best of care.
“We faced some criticism for doing it at the start but it has been a success. I am pleased to say that we have successfully provided care for more than 100 people discharged from hospital with Covid-19.
“And we did so without suffering any additional outbreaks or cases of Covid-19 as a result of becoming a designated setting.”
With death and infection rates falling, there is no longer the need for as many designated settings across North Yorkshire, so the floor at Saint Cecilia’s is returning to normal care provision.
Saint Cecilia’s has given all of its staff a bonus for the extra demands of Covid-19 and Mr Padgham also wrote to the staff on the designated floor at the Nursing Home. In his letter he wrote:
“Words cannot sum up how grateful we at Saint Cecilia’s Care Group, the patients themselves and all of their families and friends are to you. We all owe you a huge debt of gratitude.
“In all my 30+ years in social care, I can honestly say this has been the greatest, most selfless, heroic example of outstanding care I have ever witnessed.
“I could not be more proud of the fact that you successfully cared for well over 100 people on the second floor, helping a great many return to good health and to their homes and families.
“To put the health and safety of others ahead of your own takes a special kind of person and I am lucky, honoured and blessed to have you all as part of my wonderful team at Saint Cecilia’s.”
Saint Cecilia’s was joined by other homes in the county and across the country in taking part in the designated beds scheme. Here it worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council, the local clinical commissioning groups and the Care Quality Commission, which regulates care providers.
Sue Howard, who is Deputy Chief Inspector with the Adult Social Care Directorate in the Care Quality Commission, wrote to say:
“I was impressed by your positivity to the Designated Schemes and how your staff have used this process to support people’s recovery during the pandemic.
“Please thank your staff on my behalf for their continued dedication to the people they care for and support.”
Mr Padgham added: “Tackling Covid-19 has been a real team effort and we are very pleased to have worked with North Yorkshire County and City of York councils, North Yorkshire CCG, Vale of York CCG, York NHS Trust, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Care Quality Commission.
“The fight against Covid-19 has seen partnership working at its best and we hope that the contacts forged over the past year will stand us all in good stead for whatever future challenges face adult social care.
“It has been tough and we have had losses and setbacks along the way but thanks to the magnificent efforts of our staff and the support we have received not just from the statutory bodies but from the local community too, we have come through.
“We know that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and there is still a lot of hard work to be done and a continued need to be vigilant. But with the vaccine now taking effect, we are very hopeful that brighter times are ahead.”