Community matrons have been working closely with care homes across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland during COVID-19 to provide an enhanced level of care and support.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s community matrons are delivering a Care Home Support Service which involves rolling out a full training, advice and guidance package to the area’s 115 care homes.
The training package covers everything from PPE and hand hygiene training to advice on isolating suspected cases and pressure ulcer management.
Community matrons have been working with every care home that has accepted support on a one to one basis, to provide specialist advice and produce individual action plans.
More than 100 care home staff have already completed the training, which focuses on a number of infection prevention and control techniques.
This includes the correct procedure to follow when putting on and taking off personal protective equipment and hand hygiene techniques to keep themselves and their residents safe.
Staff are taught to identify coronavirus symptoms and if residents need to be swabbed the tests are processed at The James Cook University Hospital’s pathology labs and results are received back within 24 hours.
Isolation advice and follow up visits can then be provided for any patients with positive results.
Stainton Lodge manager Rachel Deakin said: “It’s nice to know that somebody’s there and you can ring if you have any concerns.
“If someone has symptoms, they get tested and we get the results back within 24 hours. That’s paramount to our service as we have a unit with 15 people on and if one shows symptoms we have to lockdown everyone else.
“Our staff put PPE on every day, but the training has ensured they are doing it the right way to keep themselves protected.”
Community matron Bev Gunn added: “All of the care homes have been very welcoming and have really appreciated the support provided and have engaged well in the training sessions.”