A care home in Teesside has praised a health trust’s infection control team for helping them in tackling COVID-19 – reporting no positive cases since the second wave of the outbreak began.
Community infection control nurse Gill Roberts takes on a lead on providing expertise to homes across Stockton and Hartlepool.
This has included running training sessions, giving advice and support over personal protective equipment (PPE), informing staff about changes to guidance and signposting staff to appropriate resources.
The home have also taken a few alternative approaches – including having staff dress as dinosaurs, unicorns and ballerinas – something Gill has also helped with.
Gill said: “The response of the care homes in the area since the start of the pandemic has been fantastic. They have allowed me to regularly visit, provide training and help to staff and to help educate everyone so we minimise the risk to both staff and to residents.
“Teesdale Lodge in particular have been incredibly successful, reporting no cases of COVID-19 in residents, an outstanding achievement.
“Of course, during all of this it has been so important for residents to not only remain safe but also stay active and maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
“At the start of the pandemic, encouraging residents out of their rooms was sometimes a challenge. One way the staff at Teesdale Lodge have managed this is by dressing up as characters and creating scenarios – and it has really helped get residents moving about more and interacting with other residents and staff.”
Mark Mounter, care home manager, said: “Having staff dress up as different characters has helped to lighten the mood here.
“We had this one particular resident – she loves going to the opera. So, one of the staff here decided to dress as a ballerina and pretend to be in a show. This helped relax this lady and she has been out of her room most of the time since then!
“Gill has been phenomenal. Without her support and advice, we wouldn’t have had the success we have. I can’t thank her and the trust’s infection control service enough for everything they have done for us.”
Gill’s training has also included ensuring staff know the correct process for donning and doffing PPE and building up a network of PPE safety officers in care homes.