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Nursing home at centre of covid-19 cluster

Nursing home at centre of covid-19 cluster

Monday 30 March 2020

Nursing home at centre of covid-19 cluster


Three patients living in the same nursing home in Guernsey have all tested positive for corona virus.

Public Health Services were contacted on Saturday morning by the facility which has not been name, but has been described as a 'residential and nursing home'.

Staff there informed Public Health that three of their residents were displaying respiratory symptoms. Swabs were taken and run through the newly launched on-island testing facility, which confirmed that all three patients had COVID-19.

A GP assessed those three patients and one was transferred to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.

Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink said:

"I am extremely impressed by Community Services who immediately swung into action, deploying some of their own staff to help in the home overnight. Extra stocks of PPE were also delivered to the home. Public Health services performed an initial analysis of the confirmed cases, possible cases and contacts over the weekend and a decision was made for all residents and staff to be swabbed today and tested on our in-house testing kit.

Dr Nicola Brink

Pictured: Dr Nicola Brink. 

"We always knew that we would potentially be faced with clusters of cases and had therefore planned for this. Having our own on-island testing capability enabled us to manage this situation in real time, rather than waiting 2 to 3 days for a test result from the UK. I am therefore so impressed how our Pathology Services have risen to the challenge and made this testing available locally to support the management of this situation."

As a result of this cluster being identified, some members of Guernsey's Community Services Team have been deployed to work in the home, meaning an impact on their own work with people they normally visit in the community.

Acknowledging that relatives of family members who receive visits from the Community Services Team will be worried, a plan has been put in place so that they will receive regular telephone welfare calls.

The team have also said they are extremely grateful to those families that have taken over care giving where they can.

A new team has also been set up to support the care home at the centre of the cluster identified. 

Sue Fleming, an experienced manager of residential and nursing care on the Island has agreed to lead that dedicated work ‘cell’, to support this care home, and which will also provide further assurance and support to this critical sector.

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