Coronavirus: 'Amazing response' to struggling care home's staffing plea

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image copyrightOak Springs Care Home
image captionManager Andrea Lyons (left) said: "As fast as you turn around, someone else is displaying symptoms"

A care home struggling to cope during the coronavirus pandemic says it has been inundated with offers of help.

Two people have died at Oak Springs care home in Liverpool and almost 75% of residents are showing flu-like symptoms, manager Andrea Lyons said.

She made a plea for "more hands-on staff" on Tuesday after 50 of the home's 72 workers had to self-isolate.

Ms Lyons said she had an "absolutely amazing response" from agency staff, ex-doctors and Liverpool City Council.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionOne resident at Oak Springs has tested positive for COVID-19

She described how the situation had become desperate at the home in Wavertree since most staff were off work either because they or their families were symptomatic.

In addition to the two residents who have died, three are in hospital while another has tested positive for Covid-19.

Ms Lyons said she was "extremely worried... as fast as you turn around, someone else is displaying symptoms".

But after so many "helpful and kind" people got in touch, she said her rotas had been filled for weeks to come.

They included retired nurses and carers as well as those offering to make food and drinks.

"Morale has really been boosted and spirits lifted" by the response, which "really takes the pressure off", she said.

Ms Lyons said the council put her in touch with Crosby-based nursing agency Cavalry Healthcare, which offered emergency help from its specialist Covid-19 team.

Boss Rory McDonnell said the company has provided a "nurse to work 24/7" and care assistants to plug the gaps.

"We are in urgent need of skilled and compassionate registered nurses and health care assistants to come forward and help in these unprecedented times," said a Cavalry Healthcare spokesperson.

Paula Barker, the MP for Wavertree who had been working with Liverpool City Council on the response, tweeted her thanks.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Mr McDonnell said the agency had been "inundated" with calls for help and is recruiting to meet the growing demand from care homes and hospices in the region.

Ms Lyons said one local lady even offered her gardening gloves while another was making scrubs for staff to wear.

image copyrightAFP