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Care home workers join residents in lockdown to battle coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 11:43 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:42 14 April 2020

Residents at Aylsham Manor on Easter Sunday all holding up a piece of paper which reads

Residents at Aylsham Manor on Easter Sunday all holding up a piece of paper which reads "Happy Easter to our families and the world.' Pic: submitted

Staff at a Norfolk care home are working marathon seven-day, live-in shifts to ensure residents stay safe from coronavirus.

Aylsham Manor Care Home celebrating its 30th anniversary back in 2012 with the current proprietor Carl Denis pictured left. Pic: ArchantAylsham Manor Care Home celebrating its 30th anniversary back in 2012 with the current proprietor Carl Denis pictured left. Pic: Archant

Manager Stuart Shaw at Aylsham Manor, a converted 17th century building which can cater for up to 30 people, asked staff if they would volunteer to live in for a week then have a week off in a bid to keep coronavirus at bay.

It comes as 92 care homes nationwide have reported recent outbreaks.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has now declared 13.5pc of all UK care homes have been affected by the virus with calls for more testing of residents.

Aylsham Manor care home. Pic: Aylsham ManorAylsham Manor care home. Pic: Aylsham Manor

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Determined not to become one of those statistics, Mr Shaw gathered workers and asked them how they felt about living in – sleeping overnight at the care home – and managed to get two teams to work alternate weeks.

And with visitors currently banned, as well as other people who usually provide services such as hairdressing and entertainment, staff have been working around the clock to meet the residents’ needs.

Residents use FaceTime so they can keep in touch with relatives.

Meanwhile staff on their week off work self-isolate at home minimising any risk to residents when they return.

Mr Shaw said: “During the live in week at work we have been working extremely long days to ensure that our residents are safe, entertained, and well looked after. I couldn’t be more proud of all my staff members for the amazing care they have provided for our residents at the Aylsham Manor not just during this particularly hard time but throughout the time I have been a part of the workforce.

“I am also proud of all the staff members who were unable to take part in the live in due to family commitments.

“We went into lockdown from all visitors two weeks before the staff started living in. They are giving up their own home lives and their own loved ones, some have children, some have husbands and wives, to ensure that our residents are as shielded as possible from this awful virus.

“I am proud to say that I work with such kind, caring, and loving individuals and we all strive each and every day to ensure that our residents are smiling and still laughing. As long as they are, we will continue to smile and carry on. “We are all in this together. The NHS, the bin men, the other carers out there, the shop assistants in supermarkets and all the little stores, the oil rig workers and of course the post men and women who are also doing their very best in keeping this amazing country going.”

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