FitzRoy staff respond to a coronavirus outbreak

19th June 2020

Throughout Learning Disability Week we have been celebrating all the amazing work going on across FitzRoy, the people we support, their families, our staff  as well as our supporters, funders and partners  in keeping the people we support safe during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Penny Bunce is the service manager of Shirlett Close, FitzRoy supported living service in Coventry. They recently carried out a whole home test on staff and their three residents, which thankfully came back negative, as Penny and her staff team had just come through one of the service’s greatest challenges – a coronavirus outbreak. 

Penny told us: “One of our residents, William contracted coronavirus, along with four of our staff. We tested William after some of our staff members came back positive. At the time, William was the only person we were able to test but we made sure we kept all three of our residents isolated for the right amount of time. 

“At our lowest we went down to having only six support workers working over a two-week period – we normally have 14. Everyone pulled together so well and covered the shifts between them while putting aside their own personal worries or concerns. I couldn’t be prouder of my staff. We made sure that above all, we kept the people we support protected, followed government advice and kept them isolated. 

“We also made sure that their routines didn’t change too muchWith day services being shut it has been difficult, but we have made sure routines stay consistent and life is as normal as possible for them. We were fortunate that William wasn’t presenting any symptoms, so he was feeling fine, we just made sure that he, and our other two residents, self-isolated for the right amount of time. 

“The support we have had has been exceptional, I have read on the news about some hospitals and care homes finding it difficult to get PPE, but we have never had that issue. FitzRoy has been on the ball from the beginning and we haven’t even come close to running out of the PPE we need. The advice they have given us has always been up to date, we have felt really supported throughout this very challenging time.”

“We have also had brilliant support from Coventry Council, they have called us every week to make sure we are okay, asking if there is anything they can do to help and checking we are well stocked with PPE, we couldn’t ask for more help. No question has been left unanswered. 

“I am so proud of my team for getting through such a difficult time. All our staff and residents are healthy and safe, and that is because of their hard work in making sure the people we support stayed protected and we do everything we can for them.  

We did a home test on our residents last week and they all came back negative for coronavirus, so what we are doing is clearly working.” 

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