Care home claims it ‘did not cut staffing levels’

Templemore Care Home, Harlestone Road.

Templemore Care Home, Harlestone Road.

A care home which suffered an outbreak of norovirus last month has refuted suggestions it did not have enough staff to cope.

Health officials said 37 residents and 15 staff at Templemore Care Home, in Dallington, Northampton, were affected by the outbreak, during the last weekend of November.

Two residents later died, but the cause of death has not yet been established in either case. The care home says it was not as a result of the bug.

The outbreak was discussed at a Healthwatch Northamptonshire board meeting in Corby on December 5. During the meeting, the health watchdog suggested the home had low staffing levels at the time of the outbreak, which the Chron reported last week. The home has since denied this.

Angela Hunt, from B&M Care, which runs Templemore Care Home, said: “At all times, Templemore was working in conjunction with Public Health England and followed our company infection control policy.

“We would like to confirm that staffing levels never dropped in the home, they in fact increased to ensure that the virus was contained promptly.”

Healthwatch has now asked for a copy of the review which Northamptonshire County Council is conducting into the circumstances of the outbreak.

Chief executive of Healthwatch, Rosie Newbigging, said: “We are keen to fully understand the circumstances of the outbreak, the impact on residents and staff and whether there is any learning for health and social care services arising from the review.

“Once we had been made aware of the norovirus spread at Templemore prior to our meeting on December 5, we were in touch with the county council, Public Health England and Templemore.

“All three organisations had responded to us promptly which we welcomed.

“We referred to these contacts at the Healthwatch Advisory council meeting on December 5 and discussed the information we had received at the point. We accept the remark about a “wall of silence” did not accurately capture our concerns and therefore we withdraw that remark. However, we were not getting a consistent picture of what had happened and we are still waiting for a copy of the review which the county council has conducted.

“Healthwatch Northamptonshire’s priority is to ensure that people receive the best possible care and we will be exercising our right to enter and view Templemore shortly. The care home immediately issued an invitation to us to visit, which we welcome.”


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