The Cambs care home preparing for a second coronavirus wave

As cases of coronavirus continue to rise across the county one care home has put in extra measures to prepare for a second wave.

Eagle Wood neurological care centre in Peterborough, which is run by PJ Care, has taken the decision to implement further precautions in order to prepare for the ‘second wave’ and maintain protection for its residents and staff.

PJ Care provides specialist neurological care for people with conditions such as Young and Early Onset dementia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and acquired brain injuries.

Cases of Covid-19 in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are increasing on a daily basis as we saw during the height of the pandemic, which caused major problems for care providers all over the country.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, PJ Care experienced a temporary loss of 30 per cent of its staff due to precautionary self-isolation, almost overnight, which it addressed with a recruitment drive.

“We have learnt a lot during the first six months of the pandemic and are using this experience to inform our preparations,” said PJ Care Chairman, Neil Russell.

“The management team meets daily to monitor the situation closely, and ensure we are fully prepared.

“In addition to the expected second wave of coronavirus, we usually see an impact on our staff this time of year from winter colds and flu.”

The company has already begun recruiting temporary carers in anticipation of staffing levels being affected if a second wave was to hit. It also aims to recruit a Covid-19 tester, a temporary post that has been created to support the management and development of internal testing.

PJ Care runs Eagle Wood neurological care centre, located in Bretton Way in Peterborough, which has four units, including one for neurorehabilitation.

Eagle Wood neurological care centre, located on Bretton Way in Peterborough
(Image: Googlemaps)

The centre provides high-quality care for extremely vulnerable adults, with most of the residents under the age of 65 and needing specialist nursing care.

“We have strict infection control measures in place and we always have at least six weeks’ worth of PPE stocks,” added Neil.

“Our staff have all been wearing full PPE for the last six months, which is very tiring, but they are just marvellous and continue to put every effort into everything they do.

“Their health and wellbeing is closely monitored, and we have introduced measures to keep them as safe as possible, including providing a minibus to get them to work so they don’t have to use public transport.”

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At present, access by visitors to Eagle Wood has been stopped in an effort to prevent coronavirus outbreaks and people are only allowed in under exceptional circumstances.

“The welfare of our residents is paramount, and we have strict protocols in place to protect them,” Neil continued. “Part of that care is keeping them in touch with loved ones and we are looking at how to offer visiting opportunities as it’s getting too cold for socially-distanced meet-ups in the gardens.”

Eagle Wood, like many care settings, has been keeping residents in contact with family members via video and telephone calls and has introduced new activities to keep them occupied such as a cookery group and a bespoke online show of stories and songs.

“Perhaps our biggest learning from the pandemic has been to trust ourselves,” Neil said.

“We understand our residents, we are confident in our procedures and protocols and we are best placed to make decisions that impact on their care and safety.”

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