THE manager of a Shinfield care home said the loss of life in a Covid-19 outbreak would have been “significantly higher” if the council’s taskforce had not stepped in.
Amanda Tanner, general manager at Shinfield View, said she could not fault the “quick action, clear guidance, and abundance of support” from the Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce, when the home experienced an outbreak in November.
At the time, Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health at the council, told Wokingham.Today that 49 staff and 40 residents at the home had the virus, of which 10 people were more seriously affected and four died.
He 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.
Cllr Margetts said this raised 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.
Once the news of the outbreak emerged, the taskforce said it had to act fast.
A multi-disciplinary meeting was set-up on the same day, which pulled together employees across public health, NHS staff, social care, the care home, the Integrated Care Home Service, infection control and the CCG, to organise help.
That weekend, the home was filled with medical and staff support.
Ms Tanner said the council team never took a “culture of blame or shame” and supported care home staff emotionally.
She said: “I cannot thank them enough for their help and support, and expertise, and I strongly attribute our managing through this situation to them. I believe had they not been involved so early on the loss of life could have been much higher than it currently stands.”
Cllr Margetts said: “From the very start of the pandemic, our aim has always been to support our communities and most vulnerable residents as much as possible.
Our ASC Covid-19 Taskforce has worked tirelessly to help our local care homes and the Shinfield View outbreak is a good example of how they’re always willing to go the extra mile.
“During what was truly a harrowing time for all those at the care home – residents, staff and families – our team stepped in and were able to help them navigate through this period.
“The feedback from the care home manager, Amanda, speaks for itself and we’re very grateful to her for this.”
He added: “I’m immensely proud of the work that our ASC Covid-19 Taskforce are doing and this will continue in the year ahead; particularly as we support the NHS with the rollout of the vaccine across Wokingham Borough, and within our care homes.”
The Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce includes council staff that work with external healthcare partners.
During the pandemic, it has been supporting with risk assessments, taking daily calls to help solve issues and concerns, and assess the needs of each care home – acting quickly to put support in place when needed.
The work of the taskforce has since been expanded to provide support to all Adult Social Care providers, not just care homes.