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Yorkshire Times
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2:50 PM 24th April 2020

Stringent Care Home Keeps COVID19 Out

A small group of staff at Peregrine House, Whitby, led by Registered Manager Alison Bedford and Deputy Manager Megan Collis, have now been, effectively, “locked-In” to work for over a month.

Several of the staff are living, at a concessionary rate, in the nearby Saxonville Hotel, away from their own families, in order to further reduce to risks to more than 30 vulnerable adults living in the care home, whose ages range up to 102 years.

Half the team work 12 hour shifts for 7 straight days, either on duty by day or by night, and are then replaced by the other half for the second 7 days in a regular rotation. The two managers elected to work without days-off to ensure continuity and maintain motivation. They have now worked for 45 of the last 46 days.

While some care homes already face bankruptcy due to COVID19, Peregrine House continues to face mounting costs in terms of footing the hotel bill and the quest to procure adequate PPE (personal protective equipment for the staff. Gloves and aprons were in standard use at the home but not gowns or visors. While North Yorkshire County Council have provided 700 masks to date, the staff initially had to be resourceful in creating their own visors. Alison Bedford came up with the idea of using empty lamination pouches run through the office laminator to produce flexible transparent screens. These were used until owner Dr. Kevin O’Sullivan contacted The Solution House in Tockwith to purchase visors having seen a news story about their production.

There was a minor celebration at Day 7 and bigger celebration at Day 14 when there were no symptoms of COVID-19 within the care home. The 7:7 rota subsequently changed to give shorter runs of up to four days between breaks for team members, with many now feeling that Peregrine House is probably safer than their own homes.

The team have maintained their spirits and those of the residents throughout the month with the help of warm sunny weather and donations of cakes and Easter Eggs by the likes of Botham’s, the Co-op and Sainsbury's, whom the whole team, the residents and their loved ones would all like to thank.