Biggest care home outbreak now under control says health leader

The home had 89 people test positive for the virus during recent weeks, but now reports no new cases Picture: Phil Creighton

ALMOST 90 people at Shinfield View Care Home tested positive for the virus, in one of the borough’s largest documented outbreaks.

Over the last few weeks, 49 staff and 40 residents of the home have had the virus, of which 10 people were more seriously affected and five died.

Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health at Wokingham Borough Council said the ratio of staff and residents infected was unusual, and unlike previous patterns of infection in care homes that saw three staff to one resident infected.

This, he said, provoked more questions about the spread of a “major outbreak” but said there was no evidence of operational failure.

The care home looks after 66 residents, meaning 60% of residents were infected with the virus.

Cllr Margetts added: “We are far from out of the woods, but we’re heading in the right direction now. There are no further cases at Shinfield View. From a learning point of view, we are now keen to understand exactly what happened, and why.

Andrew Winstanley, CEO of Berkley Care Group and owner of Shinfield View Care Home said this team was completely devastated to say goodbye to five of their residents.

“Our love and prayers are with the families of those who have passed as well as those whose family members are still fighting the virus,” he said.

“Please be assured that we shall continue to do everything we possibly can to ensure the outbreak remains contained and under control in the safest and most effective way.”

He added: “Along with public health teams we’re working tirelessly to support our residents and their families.”

Mr Winstanley continued: “We’re also greatly encouraged that we have had no additional positive residents and are very happy to be welcoming so many of our dedicated staff back to work.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to pass on our sincerest thanks to all relatives for their unfaltering support and understanding, both that and the work ethic of our caring staff has shown that the Shinfield View community really is a close-knit family.”

During the outbreak, the home worked with the borough council’s adult social care and public health teams as well as an infection control nurse from Clinical Commission Group and Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust to contain the virus spread.

Each resident is being barrier nursed and tests are continuing, with families regularly updated.

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