Western Morning News

Staff ‘run ragged’ to save lives of elderly


FOUR people looked after by Cornwall’s largest care provider have died after contractin­g the coronaviru­s.

Cornwall Care says there are cases of Covid-19 in four of its 16 homes and that four people have lost their lives.

The charity looks after nearly 650 people, offering residentia­l, nursing and dementia care.

Chief executive Anne Thomas, aid: “There are confirmed cases of Covid-19 in four of our 16 homes and sadly four people in our care are known to have died from the virus.

“Whilst each of those deaths is a tragedy, it’s important to say that we look after up to 647 people in our homes and many of those who have tested positive are now recovering.”

Ms Thomas said she believed Cornwall Care’s “collective approach” was an advantage.

“For example, staff in one home team are travelling to support another home when they have staffing shortages.

“We’ve also got our own procuremen­t team who are working tirelessly around the clock to keep us supplied with the huge quantities of PPE [personal protective equipment] required. We are not reliant on the centralise­d supply chain.

“Residents with suspected cases of the virus are tested in our homes but, until this week, staff had to travel to Plymouth.

“Thankfully testing in Truro became available on Tuesday and that is making life a lot easier for hundreds of our staff located in mid and west Cornwall.

“I’m so proud of how everyone in Cornwall Care is pulling together during this extraordin­ary emergency. Each and every person is being run ragged but their efforts our undoubtedl­y saving lives.”

Figures issued by the Department of Health nationally do not include deaths that do not occur in hospital and there have been concerns that the situation in care homes is going under the radar.

Earlier this week it was revealed that there have been “several” deaths at a singe care home in Torbay.

Staff at Primley Court in Paignton are being supported by Public Health England South West and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust – to contain the outbreak.

More than 10 residents are understood to have died at the Roseland Court home in Veryan near Truro.

Official statistics show that one in seven Covid-19 deaths in Devon has been in a care home.

Almost half of all people who have died with coronaviru­s in Europe were residents in care facilities, the World Health Organisati­on said yesterday.

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