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Five Powys care homes fighting Covid-19

 
Created on 29/05/2020 @ 10:18
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Welshpool may have been right at the local frontline in the fight against Covid-19, but it has been revealed that just five care homes from 37 in the county currently have outbreaks of the virus.

Sadly, several deaths have been reported at the town’s Rhallt care home (pictured) in connection to the virus, but elsewhere across the town and Powys, the care homes remain relatively Covid-19-free.

The news was shared at yesterday’s Powys County Council Health and Care Scrutiny e-meeting when corporate director of social services, Ali Bulman, updated councillors on the continued response to Covid-19 in the county.

They were told that Powys County Council (PCC) and Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) have joined forces to create a multi-disciplinary team that speaks to care homes daily, during the pandemic crisis.

They find out what the latest problems are and send in “support, intervention, assurance and improvement” where needed.

Ms Bulman, said: “My latest information is that we have five care homes with infection at this time, out of 37 across Powys.

“The other homes are not reporting symptoms or concerns and appear to be infection free.”

Committee chairman, councillor Gwilym Williams said: “Are any of those ours or are they private ones?”

Ms Bulman replied: “They are private and we are working with all of them all in the same way regardless of whether they are Powys homes or private.

“When there is an infection outbreak in any of the care homes environmental health officers work really closely with those providers to make sure best practice is occurring and address any training gaps.”

She added that there was a weekly forum where providers would meet with PCC to discuss the current situation, share experiences and learning.

Ms Bulman also told councillors that the authority had “a robust set of contingency plans to step in and help care homes when required”.

“This includes providing staff support, redeploying some of our staff to support care homes where they are struggling to fill their shifts,” said Ms Bulman.

Ms Bulman explained that PTHB had reviewed all patients in every care home where Covid-19 had been found, to make sure they were all getting their “clinical needs are met”.

Ms Bulman told councillors that both the authority and health board were now working on “mass testing across care homes”.

This effort had started last week and would continue for another two weeks.

She added: “Things may change as and when those test results come back.”

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