Claire and the 36 staff at Chirnside House Care Home in Lancaster have thrown a protective ring around their 30 residents. They are isolating themselves outside work to help prevent coronavirus from entering the home.
“I have not been shopping since March. My husband goes,” says Claire. “A lot of us haven’t been out since March. When you are off work you are at home. People literally go from work to home and that’s it. Even on glorious summer days when everyone is on the beach.
“One of our members of staff, her daughter recently had a baby and she is not going to be able to go and see her until all of this is over. “Our residents are vulnerable elderly, and we don’t want to risk any of them. They are like our grandmas and grandas, we know them so well.”
Chirnside went into lockdown before the Government restrictions. Relatives are keeping in touch via Skype, and can come to two metres from the window, on an appointment system to see their loved ones.
Staff have even reduced medical visitors to a minimum, carrying out minor procedures with guidance, taking urine tests and liaising with doctors using photographs and video conferencing.
“The team has bonded even more,” says Claire, who has worked in the care sector since she was 15 and at Chirnside for 14 years. “I am scared of a second wave and of people doing what they please before it’s completely over, but very, very proud of everyone here.’’