A care home free of Covid and congratulated for caring

The Bupa Gladys Mary Care Home team in Napier celebrated late last week after they were given the all clear of Covid-19 from Public Health.

During lockdown the care home had six residents and three staff who had tested positive for Covid-19 in their dementia community. Bupa Managing Director Carolyn Cooper visited the team and personally thanked them for their caring of residents during the more than 60 days in PPE gear.

“I’m in awe of our incredible team and their ‘person first’ approach. Through careful management, teamwork, positive partnerships with Public Health and Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, and strictly following Ministry of Health guidance, we have come out thankfully with everyone recovered,” Carolyn said.

Along with the support provided during their lockdown, the Gladys Mary team were presented with gift vouchers, a personal video message from Bupa Chief Executive Hisham El-Ansary, and given personal letters from Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Gladys Mary Care Home Manager John Drinkwater says as soon as they were made aware of a suspected case, they isolated their dementia community immediately. The immunocompromised staff were sent home and staffing levels were a top priority.

“My first thought was ‘how am I going to keep our residents and my team safe?’. I immediately worked with the team and Bupa management to implement the infection, prevention and control measures that we had ready to go,” John explained.

Vickilee Flynn, a care home resident's granddaughter, said she was thankful for the response from the care home team.

The personal sacrifice of staff speaks volumes, they went to work every day knowing about Covid, and they still looked after the residents with utmost care. Most superheroes wear capes, our heroes wore PPE,” Vickilee said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in Napier last week and also sent praise to the care home management and team.

“The health sector in Hawke’s Bay along with the staff who isolated themselves did an amazing job. It was a huge effort and they should be congratulated,” she said.