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Marta’s Blog                                        

Marta’s Blog – October  2020

Hello everyone, it’s a difficult blog for me to write this month.  

It may be a touch longer than usual and a little different in tone and nature, but as you read on, I’m sure you will understand why.  

 It’s been a stressful time for many of us here following the outbreak of Covid 19 at our Three Corners Nursing Home. Public Health England South West, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Torbay Council and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group have issued a statement on our behalf. However, I just wanted to take this opportunity to explain publicly what happened, how it happened, and what the response has been.  

 First and foremost, I want to pass on our condolences to the family and friends of loved ones who have been directly affected. Sadly, we have lost three of our residents to this deadly disease. Two passed away at Three Corners and one resident died in a local hospital. In total, and at the time of writing, twelve residents have tested positive for Covid 19, and twelve staff.  

 Given that we had been praised for our protocols and procedures at both our homes this just goes to show what a potentially virulent and dangerous virus this is.  We did everything conceivably possible to keep our outbreak statistics to zero, but in the current climate and with rates increasing again throughout society, it proved to be an impossible task. All the more so because the origin of our outbreak came from a patient who had been discharged from hospital with a negative Covid test.  

Unfortunately, that patient’s result turned out to be a ‘false negative’. It was later discovered that the ward from which he was discharged did have Covid patients and the seeds were already sown without our knowledge. The patient was discharged from hospital on the 14th October. Symptoms emerged on the 16th and a positive test was confirmed a day later.  

In the circumstances there is nothing we could have done to prevent the situation. Even with self-isolation of all new or returning admissions the virus is so contagious and fast spreading. If there’s one message I would like to share, it is for everyone to take note of this. There are some amongst us who want to downplay the effect of Covid and put other issues ahead of public health. Believe me, if you worked in our environment you wouldn’t do that. This is a serious virus and it demands a serious and comprehensive response.  

It is upsetting that at Three Corners we now have to care for all residents ‘in isolation’ for 28 days from 28th October, the date of our last positive staff test. The lack of interaction and use of communal facilities makes it an even more difficult time for residents and staff, and it inevitably affects their emotional well-being. Staff have moved in to summer houses and portable homes to minimise infection risk.  Being away from their own loved ones isn't easy and you have to appreciate what a tremendous sacrifice that is.  

Our staff have worked tirelessly and selflessly, putting in long hours and working in extremely difficult circumstances. Not for the first time I have total admiration for them.  

 I’d also like to thank The Trust for their incredible support, which has been invaluable.   Some might be tempted to be bitter given these recent events, but that is not our way here at Three Corners and Hill House. We take on each and every challenge as it emerges and though it can be extremely demanding we have a tight and supportive working unit that makes it more bearable. Thanks to each and every one of you who have pulled together so remarkably in these troubling times.    

Catch up with you all again in a month’s time – Marta.