This is why Sheffield Council believes the city's care homes are prepared for a second wave of Covid-19

Sheffield care homes are not looking forward to winter with coronavirus but are in a good position to keep elderly residents safe, says Sheffield Council.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 15th October 2020, 4:45 pm

The city’s care homes are said to be in a very different position than when the pandemic hit in March and are much more prepared for a second spike.

Joe Horobin, of Sheffield Council, told a meeting: "Care homes are not looking forward to the next six months but they are surprisingly calm given the stress and they also know how much they have learnt.

"We understand how the virus works in care homes and in the community so we have weekly tests for all staff and residents.

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Stock picture of elderly care. Picture: Brian Eyre

"That is a priority and we are seeing the impact of that in enabling us to keep the number of outbreaks, two cases or more in a home, really under control over these last few weeks.

"We have three outbreaks which we were aware of, which is two or more cases of either residents or staff, then we have a small number of single incidents in other homes. They have all been picked up through asymptomatic regular testing."

Ms Horobin said about a month ago, as the R rate increased, there were a couple of outbreaks in care homes which put people "back on guard" but the cases then plateaued and fell.

"I would cautiously say this, as it's an emerging situation, but we have held those levels. What we're seeing in homes generally is an infection crops up but it's coming through community transmission, we identify it quickly, the proper processes are followed, right controls are in place, the right PPE is being used, and we're not seeing that have the catastrophic impact it did in the first stage of the pandemic.

"Other key things that are resolved now is the supply of PPE which was a huge challenge in Sheffield.

"We sourced it ourselves through our own initiatives, really through hard graft, and my team drove it around the city supplying chunks to care homes where their own supplies failed.

"We now have a really quite a robust supply chain and we have been able to store PPE.

"Providers understand how to use it, why it matters, where to get it and how to dispose of it so that was another key change."

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