Many thanks to Kevin Foster for permitting us to use part of his weekly Residents’ Update.
This is an abridged version and the full version can be found on his website.
I mentioned in last week’s update work was being done to secure a testing facility for Covid-19 in our bay to support key services and to avoid having to travel to Plymouth for one.
I was therefore pleased to receive confirmation this evening a Covid-19 testing station will shortly open in Torbay for essential workers and their families. From Sunday 26th April, a mobile unit will be situated in the coach station car park in Lymington Road, Torquay.
If an essential worker or someone in their family is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 they can access the service to book a test. When they arrive for their booked test they will need a workplace form of identification e.g. ID badge, to be able to get tested. The tests are to see if someone is infected at the time of the test, they cannot predict if someone will get it or confirm if they have had it previously.
I am grateful to the team at Torbay Council, including the Council Leadership, who have worked with the national testing programme to ensure this facility could be provided. This facility will be a welcome part of the Government’s national effort to get more testing in place and help safeguard our local community.
To find out more, check the list of Essential Workers covered by this programme and book a test you can find the Government portal by clicking here.
NHS Nightingale Exeter is set to open in a new location.
The NHS’ newest hospital will now be built on the site of a former retail unit on the outskirts of the city. Earlier plans had indicated this hospital would be based at Westpoint.
Paignton Care Home Outbreak,
There was very sad news this week as a serious outbreak at a care home in Paignton was confirmed.
Several residents have now died, with others battling the virus. I know them and their families will be in the thoughts and prayers of all update readers this weekend.
As the issue emerged last weekend our local NHS and Council teams reacted swiftly, with local GPs going into the home to check residents. Torbay’s Integrated Care Organisation (ICO) has provided nursing staff and PPE to support the team at the home.
I am advised a recovery plan is now place and the Council’s Safeguarding Adults team is providing twice daily briefings with the staff in the Older Persons Mental Health team, who will be reviewing clients. The Nursing Home’s staff are now starting to return to work and a team from Optima Care (who operate the home) have arrived to support.
There is an ICO team in the home presently supporting the situation and ensuring the wellbeing of residents. The Council has also been working closely with Public Health England who are identifying and following up agency staff to ensure they are self-isolating and not working in any other home. You can read more on Devon Live.
Torbay’s Community Coronavirus helplines have now received more than 4,500 calls.
Hundreds of people have already been helped with their shopping and prescription collections and a new befriending service is being rolled out to help combat loneliness and isolation.
More than 900 people are also helping each other and hopefully will continue to help each other throughout the crisis have been matched with others based on their needs.
Urgent or very urgent calls are currently running at a rate of around 30 a day meaning a family or individual has run out of food, electricity or urgently needed medications.
The phone line, which will be staffed 24/7, covers Torquay and Paignton. The number is 01803 446022. Brixham Does Care can be contacted directly on 01803 857727 (Mon-Fri, 9am-4:30pm).
From naughty Gorillas vandalising their enclosure to an elephant sized sandpit, the residents of Paignton Zoo have been regular features of the “and finally….” section in my weekly update.
Yet today their future looks very bleak as the Zoo struggles to pay its bills with visitors barred due to the current restrictions. As many of the staff occupy key animal welfare roles they cannot be furloughed, plus no matter how friendly they might look you can’t take a Giraffe home for a couple of weeks.
Earlier today the Zoo spoke of its ongoing financial battle, which Anthony and I have raised with the Government as our bay’s MPs. It would be sad to see some of our favourite animals lost due to the measures needed to protect our bay from this virus.
The Zoo has launched an appeal to help support these animals which you can find by clicking on line.
That is all for this week and keep safe whilst enjoying your weekend.
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