Life on the frontline during the Coronavirus outbreak

Resdents at Howbury House Published Thursday, 23rd April 2020

The staff on the frontline, providing care to some of the most vulnerable people across Worcestershire continue to do a fantastic job, in difficult circumstances.

Kelly is a senior care worker at Howbury House, and she gives us a glimpse into life on the frontline, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, things have changed, some of the staff have been advised to self isolate, and this has increased workload and put pressure on the staffing rotas.

“I usually work early and late shifts on a two week rotation, including alternative weekends.” Kelly says. “Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we’re down to just four seniors to cover the seven day, 24 hour service. This is a big change for everyone, but the team are all supporting each other.

The day is split into two shifts, the morning shift which starts at 7.30am and the late shift at 3pm.

“Although no two days are the same, especially in the current climate, Kelly talks us through her day: “The day starts at 7.30am with a detailed handover from the staff who have been on the previous shift, detailing the residents care and wellbeing during the that period.

“Following this, I head out into the home to support the administration of medication and helping to support the residents that need the assistance of two care staff. This is then followed by breakfast.

“I then head into the office to book appointments, speak with other agencies, such as GP Practices, the local pharmacy and district nurses. One of our members of staff, who has been advised to work from home, is our administrator, so I have taken on the role of helping residents contact family and friends.

“It’s tough for residents to not see their families and friends in person, but staff within the home are doing everything they can to help the residents stay connected. This is extremely important in helping to maintain the resident’s wellbeing.

Kelly is helping to support this: “I’ve bought in my own personal iPad, to video call some families, as I know just to see a loved one’s face can ease the pain of not being able to see them in person. The home has also now bought an iPad to help residents connect on a more regular basis.

“I’d then be supporting care staff throughout the rest of the day and completing daily audits, updating care plans and documentation that needs doing. During anytime throughout the day I’d be the first port of call to attend any emergency situations and contact emergency services if necessary.”

“I’d then end my day by handing over the senior in charge of the next shift. We have our daily routines of what needs doing from the office side, but as we are working with people you never quite know what's going to come to you on the day, no two days are the same.”

Kelly admits that during this outbreak, it’s been tough for some of the residents, but the home is doing all it can to support them: “The care we provide now is even more important to our residents as this is the only direct interaction they get with other people. We very much offer person centred care, and still maintain this even under pressure. All the staff have pulled together to support each other with work and personal issues.”

One of the things that keeps Kelly and her colleagues going is the messages that they get from residents’ families, Kelly adds: “I have received nothing but positive feedback from relatives of our residents, sending us their love and best wishes. This is a big help.”

Fantastic staff are doing fantastic things across all our care setting in Worcestershire, helping to ensure that the most vulnerable people in the county are safe.

Kelly finished off by saying: “I’m very proud to be a senior at Howbury House, the team we have here are amazing. We’re all worried, all scared, but we’re all in it together and we will come out the other side."

Jackie Creese, Manager at Howbury House gave us a look at what changes have been implemented at the home during the pandemic. Read the full story at: How care homes are adapting in providing vital care during the Coronavirus outbreak