Leeds care home boss warns sector still 'hit hard' by Covid as Government relaxes visiting rules

A Leeds care home boss has warned that the sector is still being "hit hard" by Covid-19, after the Government announced it is to change rules around testing.

By Abbey Maclure
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 4:05 pm

Jodie Boucher, manager of Carr Croft Care Home in Meanwood, welcomed the relaxation of visiting restrictions - stressing the importance of residents being able to spend time with loved ones.

From Monday (January 31), there will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed into care homes in England and self-isolation periods will be cut.

But Jodie is concerned around a change in testing rules, which means workers will be asked to start using lateral flow tests before their shifts instead of weekly PCR tests from February 16.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Jodie Boucher, manager of Carr Croft Care Home in Meanwood, has warned care homes are still being "hit hard" by Covid

Jodie told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I feel as though the Government are trying to say that it's all okay now, which it isn't.

"Care homes have been hit hard with it at the moment and that seems to have been forgotten about.

"My main worry is the news of not doing PCR tests and the risk of relying on lateral flow tests that aren't particularly effective.

"Does that mean people are going to be coming in asymptomatic? Will it continue to spread infections?"

Jodie welcomed the relaxation of visiting restrictions, stressing the importance of residents being able to spend time with loved ones

"That's a real concern for me."

Read More

Read More
Stealth Omicron: Scientists discover cases of new Covid variant in Leeds

Jodie, who is also chairwoman of Leeds’ registered managers network, said that although visiting will still need to be managed carefully, it was important for residents to have more close contact with their loved ones.

Residents have been unable to spend special moments, such as their birthdays and Christmas, with all of their family together for almost two years.

"For the residents that can understand the news, they will be really pleased," she said.

"They've managed quite well, but it has been confusing for some - not understanding why all of their children can't visit. And that can be difficult for the other siblings."

Under the new restrictions, care homes will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 rather than 28 days, and self-isolation periods will be cut from 14 days to 10 days for those who test positive - with further reductions if they test negative on days five and six.

Isolation periods for those in care following an emergency hospital visit are also being reduced from 14 to 10 days.

"Overall, that's definitely better for the residents," Jodie said.

"People in the community can come out after five days if they've got two negative lateral flow tests, but for residents it has been 14 days which is a long time for them.

"I think that's highly beneficial, but we also have to get the balance right of it not spreading.

"It's been a stressful time for everybody, but my team have tried to stay upbeat throughout. Last week, I bought them donuts and I keep telling them how well they're doing and that they're making me proud.

"But it has been difficult for people, things like testing bring extra pressure or having to isolate when their children test positive."

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you'll see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe