Age UK Northamptonshire enlisted to support the NHS with COVID-19 testing in care homes
Written by Chris Harris on May 30, 2020
Age UK Northamptonshire is supporting the NHS in carrying out COVID-19 tests in care homes across Northamptonshire. In order to meet the demands of the Government’s Coronavirus testing targets, the NHS is working with support from Northamptonshire County Council, Public Health, Woodland Hospital, Northamptonshire Carers and Age UK Northamptonshire to get the crucial swab tests completed.
Age UK Northamptonshire staff were asked to help frontline NHS staff complete the tests. The staff who stepped forward to support the NHS have undergone full training via zoom and in the care home setting, including donning and doffing PPE, hand washing and completing the test itself which involves swabbing the back of the throat and both nostrils. The test can be completed quickly and is a crucial part of the Government’s strategy to stop the spread of the virus.
Age UK Northamptonshire staff will be supporting with swabbing adults in residential care for as long as they are needed. This is not the first time Age UK Northamptonshire have supported the NHS. The locally registered and funded charity has completed many contracts on behalf of local clinical commissioning groups. Most recently Age UK Northamptonshire staff have been working in Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital ensuring that patients have everything in place to be discharged smoothly. The support offered ensures unnecessary delays are avoided and much-needed hospital beds are freed up in a timely manner.
The charity, which has been operating in Northamptonshire for over 65 years is well placed to assist the NHS. As a person-centred organisation, Age UK Northamptonshire is experienced in providing support to older people. The charity has used its experience and expertise to respond quickly to the needs of older people during the COVID-19 pandemic, running an emergency food, shopping and medication delivery service across the county. They have also adapted their other services such as homecare cleaning, to ensure they are meeting the needs of the county’s most vulnerable demographic.
Chris Duff, Age UK Northamptonshire’s Chief Executive, said “I am really proud of Age UK Northamptonshire’s staff and volunteers in the way that they have adapted in times of adversity. Everything we do is focused on helping the older population in Northamptonshire and we’re delighted that we’re able to support our amazing NHS colleagues and partners with such important work.”
David Munt, Hospital Director of Woodland Hospital stated “We felt it was extremely important to support the NHS collaboratively by swabbing care home residents and dedicated care workers in our local community to ensure the safety and protection of our most vulnerable. Hopefully together, we will make a difference.”
Louise Tarplee, Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Lead Nurse for COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control, said: “We are hugely grateful for the support of Age UK Northamptonshire, alongside all our other partners, to improve access to COVID-19 testing in our care homes across the county. This is part of wider partnership work to help local care homes with their COVID-19 response, which also includes the delivery of infection prevention and control training to care home staff.”
To find out more information about Age UK Northamptonshire’s services, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/northamptonshire or call 01604 611200.