Charity supplies Harborough care home with vital personal protective equipment

“It was so nice that they made me cry!' said the manager

By Red Williams
Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 12:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 12:44 pm

A major Market Harborough care home has thanked a local charity for vital personal protective equipment.

Doina Merry, 39, manager of Lenthall House, said she was “very grateful” after the town’s Round Table made the donation on Wednesday morning.

“The Round Table have handed us hand cream and new face shields bless their cotton socks,” she said.

Lenthall House

“It was so nice that they made me cry!

“This sort of contribution means the world to us at such a tough time as this so we’d like to say a big thank you to the Round Table.”

The charity has acted as national reports claim that an incredible 4,000 people may have been killed by the coronavirus in UK care homes.

But Doina said that her 35 elderly residents and 55 staff at her privately-owned home on Lenthall Square, off Western Avenue, Harborough, have been fine up to now.

Manager Doina with resident Becky

“It sounds like it’s been very bad, sadly, at other care homes all over the country.

“But we’ve been OK here thank goodness.

“None of our staff or residents have had the coronavirus yet.

“We are taking every possible precaution and measure that we can to stay safe and stop this terrible virus coming in,” said the Romanian-born boss.

“We stopped residents’ relatives and friends coming in to visit them last month.

“They are turning up to look at their loved ones through the windows here, which is not ideal – but it’s the new normal.

“Residents are regularly talking to their families on Facetime and mobiles – it’s important that they all stay in touch.

“No-one comes in here without having their shoes sprayed, their temperatures taken and their hands washed.

“We are absolutely determined to do our best looking after both our residents and staff.

“And stopping the virus coming in is obviously central to that.”

A serious shortage of personal protective equipment has been a massive problem at residential homes nationwide.

But Doina, of Smeeton Westerby, said: “We’ve had enough protective kit here.

“We all wear masks, aprons and special covers over our shoes and we’ve got goggles, hats and face shields.

“We are cleaning everything time and again with disinfectant to keep surfaces clean.

“But none of us have been tested for coronavirus yet.

“Tests are going to be carried out at one of our sister homes in Loughborough.

“It would be good to be tested, both medically and psychologically.

“Two of our workers are off suffering anxiety and are self-isolating but otherwise none of us have shown any symptoms.”

The hard-working mum-of-three gave her compassionate multi-national workforce at Lenthall House a huge pat on the back.

“They’ve all been absolutely brilliant.

“We’ve got workers here from Romania, Poland, Thailand and the Philippines as well as Ireland and Scotland and locally.

“But we have all come together as one fantastic team.

“We have a man here who’s 102 and a man turning 100 next month.

“And our staff look after them and everyone else here as they would their own families,” said Doina.

“They really are going the extra mile in this totally unknown time – because nobody’s lived through times like these before.

“We have four big TVs in the lounge for residents with Netflix and Amazon Prime while they also have tellies in their rooms.

“They can go out and enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine in our garden.

“Their relatives drop off toiletries, books, magazines and treats and sweets for them.

“We’ve staged games of bingo and held Easter egg raffles so there’s an amazing community spirit.

“We are all determined to be positive, happy and upbeat.

“I was stressed out and suffered headaches when this started because managing a home like this is a serious responsibility.

“But every single one of my staff’s stepped up.

“I’m proud of them all as well as our residents, who are also doing their best to adapt and be flexible,” said Doina, who’s been based at Lenthall House since 2013.