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Response to Enquiries about Lark Hill Village

Press Statement Issued: 7.5.20

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust has always followed government advice with regards to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usage. This includes guidelines stating that one mask can be worn per ‘session’ (a single session refers to a period where a health care worker is undertaking duties in a specific care setting/exposure or environment e.g. on a ward round; providing ongoing care for inpatients. A session ends when the health care worker leaves the care setting/exposure environment), providing the care worker is not in contact with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19.

Our PPE supply does include visors donated by a local secondary school. These are professionally made on a digital cutting machine and we were extremely grateful for this donation. According to government PPE guidelines, visors are not an essential requirement in retirement village environments; these have been provided across the charity to front line staff members for extra protection, if they wish to use them.

All PPE is stored in a locked cupboard to protect stock from theft, as with any other stock we have on site. At the start of each shift, staff members are provided with their own ‘PPE bag’, which includes all necessary PPE, including gloves, face masks and hand sanitiser. Should they need additional PPE throughout their shift, staff are able to ‘re-stock’ in the care office at any point.

We recognise that government guidance on PPE is changing on a regular basis. We have ensured that our front-line staff have always been supplied with the essential PPE, in accordance to the government guidelines.

We have been overwhelmed with the generosity from individuals, universities, schools, businesses and the community who have so kindly donated PPE to The ExtraCare Charitable Trust.

There have been reports in the press about Nadia Whittome MP who has been working at our Lark Hill Retirement Village in Nottingham. There have also been reports about the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the village. We would like to comment at follows:

“The welfare and safety of our charity’s residents is our primary concern. Our charity’s staff are working day and night to ensure the safety and welfare of our residents who are particularly vulnerable during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Nadia joined us as a casual worker, to help our care team by providing support for our residents on eight care shifts during March and April. We welcomed Nadia’s support and are grateful for the contribution she’s made at Lark Hill. We continue to value our relationship with Nadia as one of our local Nottingham MPs, as we do with all MPs associated with our retirement communities.

“With respect to PPE, Lark Hill Village has over three months’ supply of PPE, including over 25,000 pairs of gloves, 7,700 aprons and nearly 6,000 masks; we have access to further equipment should we need it.

“ExtraCare campaigned for PPE in early April to ensure that none of our 20 retirement communities would be without PPE. We recognise that there may be shortages nationally, but this has not been the position at our Lark Hill Village.

“Lark Hill is the largest retirement village in the UK and home to 419 older people with an average age of 82 years. Partly as a result of rigorous infection control measures which include a full supply of PPE, we are relieved to report that no deaths have occurred within the Lark Hill community as a result of Covid-19.

“Our vigilance, care and concern continue and this will continue to be our team’s complete focus as we support and protect our Lark Hill community during the coming weeks and months.

“We are acutely aware of the very significant impact that Covid-19 has had on our country and in particular the care sector. We stand together with our colleagues to support all those who have been affected.”