Care home opened by the Queen gets delivery of PPE from Mail Force

Mail Force follows in royal footsteps as brain injuries care home opened by the Queen gets delivery of vital PPE

  • Oakwood care home, in Stockport, received boxes of aprons from Mail Force
  • Centre which helps people with brain injuries was opened by the Queen in 1991 
  • 100,000 gowns arrived on lorries from Turkey through Mail Force efforts  
  • Charity, set up by the Mail and its partners, sourced PPE from Instanbul factory

A care home opened by the Queen that helps rehabilitate people with brain injuries yesterday thanked Mail Force for delivering desperately-needed PPE.

Boxes of aprons were handed to the staff at Oakwood, on the edge of Stockport, which is run by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation.

The Queen opened the 13-resident home, which looks after people after their release from hospital, in 1991.

Corinne Waters, service manager, said: ‘I think it’s really generous that people are taking the time and trouble to give to charity. 

Boxes of aprons were delivered to staff at Oakwood, a care home outside of Stockport, which is run by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation

‘It’s just showing the whole country is coming together at what is an unprecedented time.’

It was one of a string of deliveries this week around the country, as the Mail Force charity goes from strength to strength.

Mail Force was set up to help solve the PPE crisis. It has found untapped sources of vitally needed protective equipment from around the world and bought it for the NHS and care homes in the UK.

At the heart of the campaign are the exceptional letters from Daily Mail readers which have flooded in accompanying generous donations. 

Alan Smith, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, sent in £200, and wrote: ‘It is the very least I can do, after what the NHS has done for me, patched me up after numerous accidents down the mine.

‘I am not complaining. I’m compos mentis… Yes, I’m very vulnerable but it is what it is. I’m 76 years old and can do my bit in some way to help the NHS. Thanks for your campaign. Good luck!’

Hilary Whitmarsh, of Bournemouth, sent £100 of ‘money saved by not going out’. She added: ‘I hope this will help, just a little bit, in this fight… and that it will help our nurses, doctors. Thank you Daily Mail.’

The Queen opened Oakwood care home, that helps rehabilitate people with brain injuries, in March 1991

Every penny given to Mail Force helps buy the next load of crucial gear. So far, £8.5million has been raised.

This week, lorries bearing 100,000 gowns arrived from Turkey after the charity – set up by the Mail and its partners – sourced PPE from a factory near Istanbul.

After their quality checked by the Health and Safety Executive, the gowns were delivered to the NHS.

The charity also imported £1million of coveralls and masks from China, and 1.5million aprons from British firm The Issa Group, which had them made in a former cotton mill in Blackburn.

Mail Force is determined to help get the PPE to where it is most needed, and in few places is the generosity of the donors more appreciated than at St Leonard’s Hospice in York.

The doctors and nurses at St Leonard’s need full-body coveralls to deal with some Covid-19 patients. Only ‘a couple’ of staff have tested positive and the PPE has helped keep staff safe.

St Leonard’s has been able to source sufficient PPE supplies until now – but costs are likely to rise in future.

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Children in care can be immunised against parents' wishes says court

Court of Appeal judges say children in care can be vaccinated against their parents’ wishes because scientific evidence ‘clearly establishes’ it is in their best interests

  • Lady Justice King and two others made the ruling in a Court of Appeal today
  • She said children should be immunised unless there is a specific reason not to be
  • The ruling comes as scientists around the world work on a coronavirus vaccine 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Children in care can be vaccinated against their parents’ wishes without courts having to intervene, senior judges said today.

Three judges said scientific evidence ‘clearly establishes’ it is in the best interests of children to be immunised unless there is a specific reason for them not to be.

The ruling comes at a time when researchers around the world are working on a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Lady Justice King, sitting with Lords Justice McCombe and Peter Jackson, made the judgement in a Court of Appeal ruling published today.

Three judges ruled that children in care can be vaccinated against their parents wishes because scientific evidence ‘clearly establishes’ it is in their best interests, after London’s Tower Hamlet Council went to the High Court. Pictured: A volunteer is injected with the vaccine in Oxford University’s vaccine trial



Lady Justice King (left), sitting with Lords Justice McCombe (centre) and Peter Jackson (right), made the ruling after a case in which a couple refused to agree to their son being vaccinated

They said councils should not make decisions regarding vaccinations based on the strength of parents’ views unless they have a ‘real bearing’ on the child’s welfare.

The judge also said it is neither ‘necessary nor appropriate’ for councils to go to court every time a parent objects to their child being vaccinated.

She said: ‘The administration of standard or routine vaccinations cannot be regarded as being a ‘serious’ or ‘grave’ matter.

‘Except where there are significant features which suggest that, unusually, it may not be in the best interests of a child to be vaccinated, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for a local authority to refer the matter to the High Court in every case where a parent opposes the proposed vaccination of their child.

Tower Hamlets Council went to the High Court arguing that, under the Children Act 1989, it had the power to arrange for the vaccinations to be carried out

‘To do so involves the expenditure of scarce time and resources by the local authority, the unnecessary instruction of expert medical evidence and the use of High Court time which could be better spent dealing with one of the urgent and serious matters which are always awaiting determination in the Family Division.’

The ruling came after a case in which a couple refused to agree to their son being vaccinated.

The couple, whose son – referred to only as T – was placed in foster care, had refused to agree to the child receiving his routine childhood immunisations.

Tower Hamlets Council went to the High Court arguing that, under the Children Act 1989, it had the power to arrange for the vaccinations to be carried out.

The council said if this was not the case, then the court should grant an order authorising the injections as they were in the child’s best interests.

A coronavirus vaccine developed in Britain may not stop those treated being infected it was revealed this week

In February, a High Court judge accepted the council’s argument and said it did have the authority to arrange for the immunisations to take place.

The parents then went to the Court of Appeal but they dropped part of the appeal at a hearing in April.

They said they were no longer challenging the merits of the High Court’s order permitting the council to arrange T’s vaccinations. 

The healthy boy’s immunisations are now due to go ahead.

The Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether a local authority has the powers to arrange for the routine vaccination of a child in its care where the parents have refused to consent.

Giving the court’s judgment, Lady Justice King said: ‘The question that arises here is whether the local authority has the power to consent to vaccination in the best interests of the child, and thereby to provide lawful authority for something that is not compulsory.’

Oxford University’s vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCov-19 has been rocked by criticism after all six monkeys that received it tested positive for coronavirus

‘Although vaccinations are not compulsory, the scientific evidence now clearly establishes that it is in the best medical interests of children to be vaccinated in accordance with Public Health England’s guidance unless there is a specific contra-indication in an individual case.’

She concluded that, under the Children Act, ‘a local authority with a care order can arrange and consent to a child in its care being vaccinated where it is satisfied that it is in the best interests of that individual child, notwithstanding the objections of parents’.

The conclusion comes as Oxford University entered the trial stages of a coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier this week it emerged that all six of the monkeys that were used in the Oxford University vaccine trial had gone on to catch the coronavirus.

The potential vaccine was steamrolled into human trials last month, with more than 1,000 people receiving the immunisation. 

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Care home staff and patients face 21 day wait for Covid-19 results

Care home residents and staff have to wait up to 21 days for Covid-19 test results, peer tells ministers

  • House of Lords debate reveals care homes are waiting weeks for Covid-19 results
  • Baroness Brinton says some care homes ‘are not getting any results back’ 
  • Lord Bethell accepts delays, adding ‘we had a laboratory let us down’
  • It comes after PM and Sir Keir Starmer squared off over care homes this week 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Patients and staff across Britain’s care homes are waiting weeks for Covid-19 test results and, in some cases, are not receiving results at all, peers in the House of Lords have claimed. 

Labour former minister Lord Peter Hain said patients discharged from hospital were among residents facing length delays at a care home where one of his close relatives.

Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Baroness Brinton also said of care home organisations: ‘Many are not getting any results back, a big black hole.’

Lord Hain, speaking in the House of Lords, asked why care home patients and staff, including patients recently released from hospital, are waiting up to 21 days for Covid-19 test results

She added:  ‘Those that do say 10 days is not unusual and that local resilience forums are not being allowed to get the results either – they cannot plan support.’ 

Lord Bethell claimed Lady Brinton ‘casts the situation unfairly’, adding: ‘There are undoubtedly cases where test results have taken longer and last weekend we had a laboratory let us down and we did have some delays last weekend.’

He went on to pay tribute to the team who turned around a ‘very difficult situation’ before insisting the majority of tests are returned within the Government’s target time.

Lord Hain later asked: ‘Why in an English care home, where a close relative of mine lives, do staff and patients – including astonishingly patients discharged from hospital – still have to wait up to 21 days for the results of their Covid-19 tests?’

Lord Bethell replied: ‘He gives powerful personal testimony, I can’t possibly argue with the details of his story.

‘But can I just reassure him that the data I have is the turnaround time for tests is in the vast majority of cases radically less than what he describes, and we’re on course for hitting the target of 48 hours for a very large number of tests and 24 hours for a lot of tests.’

Lord Bethell earlier said ‘it was not true’ that the Government’s list of priorities at the beginning of the crisis did not include care homes, telling peers: ‘In every epidemic, care homes are always a priority.

‘History has taught us that and we knew it from the beginning.’

Care homes have become the focus of the coronavirus pandemic, with the Westminster Government coming under pressure over its approach in controlling the virus.

Boris Johnson was on the rack over care homes on Tuesday following an explosive confrontation with Sir Keir Starmer over whether they had been abandoned to coronavirus.

The Labour leader accused the PM of misleading the House of Commons after he denied the Government had previously said the virus was unlikely to break out in care homes.

Almost 10,000 care home residents have now died of coronavirus, accounting for a quarter of all victims. 

He ambushed Mr Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions by quoting official guidance that had been in place until March 12 – well after coronavirus had started being transmitted in the UK. 

Sir Keir said it showed the Government had been ‘too slow to protect people in care homes’.

Mr Johnson replied that ‘it wasn’t true’ to say the advice said that. He later refused to apologise and accused Sir Keir of quoting selectively from the guidance.

 

The Prime Minister admitted to MPs however, that the lockdown could not be lifted until the coronavirus crisis in care homes had been dealt with.

In a section on face masks, Public Health England advice to the care sector said: ‘It remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected.’ 

Responding to a private notice question today, Lord Bethell also told peers: ‘The provision of tests for care home staff and patients is a number one priority for the Department of Health and Social Care and we’re currently making 30,000 tests a day available through satellite, mobile and at-home channels.

‘We aim to have offered tests to all care home staff and residents specialising in the care of older people and those living with dementia by early June.’

Labour’s health and social care spokeswoman Baroness Wheeler said there was a ‘squabble’ between the department, Care Quality Commission and Public Health England over who is responsible for the “total and tragic chaos” in care homes, something Lord Bethell denied.

The minister said: ‘I completely acknowledge the threat of a second peak.

‘It focuses the mind and it’s very much a priority for the Government. But there is no squabble of the kind the baroness describes.”

Lord Bethell also paid tribute to the ‘many’ care homes with no infection which have ‘applied the correct disciplines and systems’, adding testing priority was for those with infection.

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Devoted care home workers sleeping in tents to protect the residents from coronavirus – The Sun

DEDICATED care home workers are sleeping in tents to protect the residents from the coronavirus.

A dozen staff are spending nights outside for at least the next four weeks to stay isolated from the rest of society — including their own families.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Care homes have been hit hard by the pandemic so employees at Pilgrim Wood residential home, near Guildford, Surrey, are prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent more deaths.

Manager Sharon Mitchell had the idea and owner Keshel Lakhani said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by how supportive and positive the staff have been."

"It’s a massive personal sacrifice.”

“Some are spending weeks away from their families, we are so grateful to them.”

Keshel added: “The reaction from the relatives of our residents has been wonderful."

Staff will kip on camp beds and air mattresses in the tents, donated by a resident’s family.


They can eat, brush their teeth and shower in the home.

There have been no signs of the killer virus at the family-run care home so far.

Meanwhile residents Doreen Woodman, 95, and husband Harry, 93, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary there yesterday.

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Intensive care matron says PTSD will 'start setting in' with NHS staff

Intensive care matron says PTSD is starting to ‘set in’ for NHS staff left ‘absolutely exhausted’ by the coronavirus crisis

  • Sinead Hanton, North London, says staff are going ‘above and beyond’ in ICU 
  • Mother-of-one says she’s ‘already seen a lot of stress’ and PTSD will soon set in 
  • Says ICU staff usually nursing one patient looking after three ‘very sick’ people 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

An intensive care matron has said that post-traumatic stress will ‘start setting in’ for ‘absolutely exhausted’ NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis, while some are already suffering.

Sinead Hanton, from North London, appeared on Good Morning Britain today from the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, where she told that her staff are ‘absolutely exhausted’ and going ‘above and beyond’ to cope with the influx of patients. 

She said that her team are all working extra hours, with ICU nurses who would usually be looking after one person forced to nurse ‘three very sick patients’, and that she’s already seen ‘a lot of stress’ from the increased workload. 

Intensive care matron Sinead Hanton (pictured) , from North London, has said that post-traumatic stress will ‘start setting in’ with ‘absolutely exhausted’ NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis

She appeared on Good Morning Britain today from the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead where she told that her staff are ‘absolutely exhausted’

‘Our staff are absolutely exhausted. They’re working above and beyond everybody is doing extra hours,’ she said. 

‘Usually intensive care is one-to-one nursing, we have one nurse looking after three very sick patients with help, so the challenges are enormous. 

‘I’ve seen a lot of stress, PTSD is going to start setting in with our staff, we’re seeing that now. We do a lot of wellbeing work supporting our staff and we need to refocus on that now.’ 

The ICU nurse told that the hospital is already preparing for a second wave of the coronavirus, and urged the public to abide by government rules.  

She told Dr Hilary Jones (pictured) her team are all working extra hours, with ICU nurses who would usually be looking after one person forced to nurse ‘three very sick patients’

She told host Lorraine Kelly (pictured) that she’s already seen ‘a lot of stress’ from the increased workload 

‘Stay at home if you can, only go out if necessary, work from home if you can, we do not want to see another peak, even though we’re preparing for it. 

‘You can see what the staff and patients have been through and the relatives. We don’t want to see another peak, but if people don’t abide by the rules we will see another peak’. 

The mother-of-one told how she’s been unable to see her four-year-old son, but insisted that it’s vital we ‘all make sacrifices’. 

‘Like all our staff working in hospitals across the NHS, we’re faced with challenges at work,’ said Sinead.

‘But then not seeing our families, I haven’t properly seen my four-year-old in six or seven weeks. But we’ve all had to make sacrifices to make sure our patients are safe’.  

The mother-of-one told how she’s been unable to see her four-year-old son, but insisted that it’s vital we ‘all make sacrifices’ 

The intensive care nurse appeared on BBC2 documentary ‘Hospital Special: Fighting Covid-19’ last night, and hopes that the film will help the public to understand the importance of social distancing. 

She said: ‘The message we need the public to realise is we’re still in the middle of a public health crisis, social distancing is vital. 

‘We’re already preparing for a second wave. In the  evening when I drive home from work and see people in the park in groups, it’s upsetting. You see in the documentary how busy we are and how hard we’re working to keep our patients safe

‘Hopefully last night and tonight again will get across how busy we’ve been over the last seven weeks. 

‘The staff have worked incredibly hard, the team are under huge pressure but they’ve come out the other side and they’ve done a brilliant job.’ 

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Care homes STILL struggling to get enough PPE

Care homes STILL struggling to get enough PPE despite deaths of nearly 6,000 elderly residents from coronavirus as workers tell of ‘really high’ stress levels over lack of protection

  • Bosses say that increased costs means that supplies often run out very quickly
  • Colin Angel, from the UKHCA, said sourcing PPE is a concern for care providers  
  • ONS data today showed that 5,890 people died in homes from the disease 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Care homes in the UK are still struggling to get enough PPE despite the deaths of nearly 6,000 residents from coronavirus – as workers say the lack of protection is causing ‘really high’ levels of stress. 

Bosses say the requirement to wear PPE at all times while working in care homes, coupled with increased costs, mean that supplies often run out extremely quickly.

The ONS bulletin today showed that one in five of all people who have died so far in the crisis have been care home residents. Some 5,890 people in homes succumbed to the disease by April 24. 

A shortage of PPE has been a consistent issue from staff in care homes since the pandemic began, with Unison yesterday revealing it has received almost 3,600 reports about access to PPE from workers through its PPE alert web form.

Colin Angel, policy director for the UK Homecare Association (UKHCA), said sourcing equipment for workers is a main concern for care providers.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘I think every homecare provider in the country is really struggling to get a sure supply of PPE, and having enough to be confident that they can continue providing care services across, sometimes even days, if not just a few weeks.

A worker at Newfield Nursing Home in Sheffield tenderly holding hands with an elderly resident Jack Dodsley

‘And it’s a real stress. I have a provider who was telling me he was spending 90% of his time trying to phone round and get PPE delivered.

‘That means he’s looking for PPE rather than being able to run the rest of his service.

‘That’s a huge problem, and the levels of stress it’s creating both for providers delivering care and their frontline care workers is really high.’

There were 5,890 coronavirus-related care home deaths registered up to April 24 in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics said.

Mr Angel said the response from Government has been slow, and that more support is needed as additional cost pressures mount.

‘We’re seeing homecare providers having to use personal protective equipment that they’ve never needed before, and face masks and visors aren’t usually necessary in home care,’ he said.

When the number of COVID-19 patients dying was at its highest in hospitals, around April 8, it was still relatively low in care homes, which then surged in the days and weeks following

‘And now we’re using them for virtually every contact that we have with somebody.

‘The prices are increasing, the amount of PPE needed to deliver care services safely has shot up in a month or so.

‘So, all of these additional cost pressures need to be funded, and that’s either funded by the local authorities in the NHS who are buying care, or potentially by private individuals who are buying their own care.

‘We don’t think that’s a cost which should be borne by private individuals.

‘We think we need some real support from Government which has been very slow in appearing.’

It comes as more than 130 frontline NHS and care workers have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged that there would be further competition for PPE from businesses seeking to reopen as the lockdown eases, but said that the NHS and care homes must remain a priority.

A graphic that shows the different levels of PPE protection required by medical professionals and care workers

‘The first call on PPE must go to the NHS and social care and those other essential services who need it to keep the people delivering those services safe,’ he said on Monday.

Care home resident Pat, who appeared on the BBC with Mr Angel and her carer, Emily, said she is worried about the safety of her carers, without whom she would be ‘totally lost’, and echoed calls for more PPE.

‘It’s very important because I had a stroke so I can do very little for myself – so I totally depend on them … I would be totally lost, I don’t know what I would do without them,’ she said.

‘It can be very depressing sitting here on your own all the time and I look forward to them coming in for the company as well.’

Mr Angel continued: ‘We need to get money coming to the frontline care providers, we need to recognise the huge increase in costs, and sort out the supply of PPE so that Pat and Emily can carry on working together and receiving support.’

It comes as growing numbers of families  are seeking legal advice to remove their relatives from care homes, it has been revealed today. 

Legal firms have reporter a spike in the number of people looking to overturn safeguards which prevent them removing elderly residents from care facilities.  

The law firm Leigh Day told The Guardian it is receiving, ‘at least 10 calls a week from families attempting to persuade local authority social workers to let them remove residents from care homes.’

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are strict processes which apply to people in care homes and hospitals, stopping them from leaving the facility without permission from a social worker.  

Helen Wildbore, the director of the Relatives and Residents’ Association, also told The Guardian its helpline had seen an increase in calls about the issue.

More than 5,000 care home residents have died from COVID-19. Official data shows care home deaths account for more than a third of all fatalities. 

By April 24, a total of 5,890 people had died in care homes with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, out of a total of 27,356 people (21.5 per cent). 

More than 4,000 care home residents in England and Wales have died during the pandemic up until April 17, official data shows, 19 per cent of the total on that date. This compares to Germany’s 2,401. A third of its total deaths have been in care homes, but that includes prisons and other community settings

The 27,356 is lower than the 29,710 total for that date because of a recording cut-off. 

Office for National Statistics data today revealed that 29,710 people in England and Wales had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificate by April 24.

The Department of Health had, by that time, counted only 22,173 fatalities linked to the virus. 

Delays in death reports, uncounted victims who died at home or in care homes, and a refusal to count anyone who hasn’t been tested mean the daily death counts are not the most accurate measure of how many people are being killed by the illness.

Yesterday the Health Secretary announced that a total of 28,734 people had died after testing positive for the disease. This suggests the true total – if 34 per cent higher – could be 38,506.

The ONS bulletin today showed that one in five of all people who have died so far in the crisis have been care home residents. Some 5,890 people in homes succumbed to the disease by April 24.

And fatalities in care homes appear to have peaked on April 17, when 415 people died – this was nine days after the daily peak in NHS hospitals, on April 8, with 867 deaths.

ONS data is the most accurate picture of how many people have died with COVID-19, but the statistics are backdated so only relate to a period two weeks earlier.   

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NHS has ‘more critical care beds available now than before coronavirus hit our shores’, Matt Hancock reveals

THE NHS has "more critical care beds available now than before coronavirus hit our shores", Matt Hancock has revealed.

Speaking at today's Downing Street press conference, the Health Secretary suggested the NHS had smashed concerns it would not be able to cope.

 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Despite the death toll today passing 10,000, Mr Hancock insisted the NHS was managing to meet the demand for beds.

He said: “The latest figures show that in Great Britain we have 2,295 spare critical care beds, up 150 from yesterday.

“Throughout this crisis with all the challenges that we’ve been dealing with, all the operational difficulties and all the logistics, we have always been able to provide the very best of care to everybody who needs it through the NHS.

“At the start of this crisis, people said that the NHS would be overwhelmed, and we’ve seen that and we’ve seen the risk of that elsewhere but not here.

“There is more spare capacity now for critical care than there was when coronavirus first hit our shores.”

It comes after another 737 patients died from the virus, bringing the UK’s total to 10,612.

Mr Hancock claimed the figures showed how serious the pandemic was.

He said: “Today marks a sombre day in the impact of this disease as we join the list of countries who have seen more than 10,000 deaths related to coronavirus.

“The fact that over 10,000 people have now lost their lives to this invisible killer demonstrates just how serious this coronavirus is and why the national effort that everyone is engaged in is so important.”

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It comes as the Prime Minister released a candid video addressed to the nation just hours after being discharged from hospital while battling coronavirus.

Boris Johnson praised the "magnificent NHS" and mentioned two nurses in particular who were paramount to his care.

"I today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life … no question."

In a reference to the current lockdown measures in effect across the UK, he thanked Brits for "the effort and sacrifice" that have been made.

"When the sun is out and when the whole natural world seems at its loveliest and the outdoors is so inviting, I can only imagine how tough it has been to follow the rules on social distancing.

"So many millions across this country have been doing the right thing."

The PM optimistically stressed that "although the struggle is by no means over, we are now making progress in this incredible national battle against coronavirus."


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Tyler Perry Takes Care of Grocery Tabs for Seniors at 73 Stores

Tyler Perry is known for being a giver and not all of his deeds are publicized, but his latest kind act is moving people to tears. COVID-19’s impact on routine tasks like grocery shopping has led to stores altering their hours for older adults.

By reserving the first shopping hour for senior citizens, supermarkets are helping some of the strain, and Perry just did something to ease the load a little bit more.

Tyler Perry paid for groceries in 6 dozen stores

Perry strikes again with his generosity by picking up the grocery tab for seniors and other high-risk individuals in two states. The heartwarming gesture surprised unsuspecting shoppers once they reached the checkout line.

News stations across metro Atlanta and Louisiana are reporting Perry paid the bills at 44 Kroger stores in Georgia and at 29 Winn Dixie supermarkets in Louisiana.

According to 11AliveNews in Atlanta, the entertainment mogul wanted to remain anonymous, butthat cat is out of the bag. A representative for Kroger’s corporate officeconfirmed the act of kindness, and in an email sent to the news outlet, extendeda warm thank you to Perry.

“Senior and higher-risk Kroger shoppers in metro Atlanta did receive a nice surprise at the register this morning when they learned Tyler Perry had paid their grocery tab in full.

We would like to join our customersin thanking Mr. Perry for his kindness and generosity during this unprecedentedpandemic. It was truly a pleasure to see our customers fill with joy andgratitude as the news spread throughout 44 stores across metro Atlanta.”

Customers were moved to tears and could not believe that a stranger covered their shopping trip. They had no idea who took care of their bill.

Why these two states?

Perry is a native of Louisiana, but putdown roots in Atlanta. He was born and raised in New Orleans and moved toAtlanta in 1990 in his early twenties. For years, he struggled as a playwright inhis adopted city and it’s a well-known fact that for a while, he was homelessand slept in his car.

A local production in Atlanta kickedoff his career which saw his plays turned into films. It’s the city he callshome. Now, Perry has a net worth of approximately $600 million.

Perry has a track of record of swooping in with generosity

Just two days ago, Perry left some Atlanta restaurant workers in shock when he left a $21,000 tip for them. As a frequent customer of Houston’s, he wanted to do something nice for one of his favorite eateries during the pandemic. But he has history of being big-hearted.

In 2018, Perry paid off the layaway balances at Atlanta-area Walmart stores during the holiday season. That amounted to more than $400,000.

That same year, he gifted a terminally ill woman with something on her wish list – a home of her own. The house was for Bettie Ann Pace, his old colleague’s mother.

He’s also purchased a car for a single mom caring for a gravely ill child in need of an organ transplant. And way back in 2010, Perry donated money to rebuild the home of an elderly woman who lost hers to a fire right before Christmas. He covered her expenses as she waited for its reconstruction.

That is a sampling of acts that are publicly known, but it’s not farfetched to believe that Perry does other things that fly under the radar. Amidst this health crisis, this is the kind of support that people love and welcome.

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Britain's 500,000 care home residents face explosion of cases

The army of potential coronavirus victims no one is talking about: Britain’s 500,000 care home residents face explosion of cases as carers are moved from one house to another without tests for deadly disease

The nation’s half-million care home residents face becoming the ‘abandoned victims’ of the coronavirus crisis, campaigners warned last night.

The disease has already torn through dozens of care homes, leaving them looking like ‘war zones’ and cases are expected to explode in the next few days unless urgent action is taken.

Now bosses are pleading for access to coronavirus tests amid fears carers and agency workers who do shifts in several homes a week are spreading it in multiple high-risk locations.

Fifteen out of 20 residents of Oaklands Nursing Home in East Sussex this week developed coronavirus symptoms, with a member of staff in intensive care. However, just three were tested – among them Giuseppe Casciello, 95, who died on Monday. He is pictured with family

They also warned they are being forced to play ‘Russian roulette’ with residents’ lives after the Government asked them provide beds for untested patients discharged from over-run hospitals.

MPs described the treatment of care home residents as an ‘unseen national scandal of untold proportions’ and accused the Government of abandoning the elderly when they need help the most.

It raises the horrific spectre of the scenes on the Continent where hundreds of care homes have been ravaged by the disease and in some cases staff have left the helpless victims to their fate.

Case study one

OAK SPRINGS, WAVERTREE, LIVERPOOL

Managers have warned they face being ‘overwhelmed’ by coronavirus.

Six residents have so far died, and 48 of the remaining 66 have begun showing Covid-19 symptoms – with three yesterday placed on end-of-life care plans.

A staggering 50 staff have been off with flu-like symptoms.

Mrs Lyon (pictured on the right with care worker Amanda Pettitt) goes to work every day despite her husband being classed as vulnerable because he has type one diabetes

General manager Andrea Lyon issued an urgent plea for help earlier this week from retired medics or even the Armed Forces as a ‘last roll of the dice’.

‘We’re desperate for help,’ she said on Tuesday. ‘I only have 20 staff left to cover shifts and GPs have refused to visit the home for two weeks now.’

The state-of-the-art care home – which opened three years ago – said it had also run out of face masks.

Mrs Lyon (pictured on the right with care worker Amanda Pettitt) goes to work every day despite her husband being classed as vulnerable because he has type one diabetes.

She said ‘the phone hasn’t stopped ringing’ since her appeal as doctors and nurses offered to help.

Extra protective equipment has also been delivered, but a lack of testing makes it impossible to know which residents are infected.

‘I just get home and start crying because you can’t do it at work in front of the staff,’ she told the Daily Mail this week.

General manager Andrea Lyon issued an urgent plea for help earlier this week from retired medics or even the Armed Forces as a ‘last roll of the dice’. ‘We’re desperate for help,’ she said on Tuesday

‘But we have a duty of care and we cannot let our residents down. Some of them are war veterans. They did their duty.’ 

At the Old Vicarage care home in Allithwaite, Cumbria, one resident has tested positive for coronavirus, with another six displaying symptoms, prompting pleas for more protective equipment.

With no testing available, manager Kamal Siddiqi said staff at the home, near Grange-over-Sands, had no way of knowing if the other residents were infected too. ‘Any help or resources people could offer us would be greatly appreciated,’ he told the North West Evening Mail.

‘Face masks are particularly hard to find and we’re going through them quite quickly. We would also appreciate any voluntary help. This doesn’t have to be interacting with clients but rather picking up and dropping off supplies or chatting to clients via Skype.’ The resident in hospital is said to be ‘doing well’ with no-one else displaying serious symptoms.

Care home bosses also revealed they had been told no one over 75 in will be treated in hospital if they contract the virus.

Agency and temporary workers play a vital role in the care system can often work in four or five homes a week. But it is believed none of the around 1.3million social care workers – who also provide home help – has been tested unless they have become ill or been in hospital.Peter Kyle MP, who has written to Boris Johnson to warn of the dangers, said: ‘The lack of strategy for care homes is killing people.

‘How can they say that I as an MP has to stay home, but somebody working in four or five are homes in a week is allowed to work and not allowed to be tested?

‘It’s unimaginably stupid. If the virus gets into a care home it will kill. The only strategy is to keep it out. The only way is to keep it out is to test the people who go in.’

At the Oaklands Nursing Home in his Hove constituency it took ten days to test a 94-year-old man who later died from the virus. 

Case study 2

OAKLANDS, HOVE

Fifteen out of 20 residents of Oaklands Nursing Home in East Sussex this week developed coronavirus symptoms, with a member of staff in intensive care.

However, just three were tested – among them Giuseppe Casciello, 95, who died on Monday. Relatives have visited Mr Casciello every day for seven years but to compound their grief they could not be at his bedside when he died.

Rose Edmunds, whose 94-year-old mother is among those to fall ill, said staff had taken every precaution.

‘Despite all their efforts others went down with it,’ she said. Managers have appealed for the loan of camper vans so staff can remain on-site instead of returning home and potentially infecting families. The home declined to comment yesterday.

But a staff member currently in self-isolation said they had been provided inadequate personal protective equipment. ‘It just spread and spread and spread,’ he said. ‘When I left, it felt like a war zone.’

At Plas Pengwaith care home in the foothills of Snowdonia, two residents have died this week after they are suspected to have contracted coronavirus.

Staff have declined to comment at the home, which is run by Gwynedd council.

Public Health Wales said it was ‘supporting providers of care homes to ensure they are following the appropriate guidance and implementing measures such as infection control precautions’.

During the wait, 14 other residents and seven staff developed symptoms, one of whom is now in intensive care. Most of the staff were agency who also worked in other care homes – at least one of which has now confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Government guidance issued this week suggests care homes may have to accept new residents who have coronavirus. It says hospitals will not routinely test patients entering care homes, meaning managers will be unaware if returning residents are infectious but not showing symptoms.

It said: ‘Some patients may have Covid-19… all of these patients can be safely cared for in a care home if this guidance is followed.’

Andy Geach, boss of Shedfield Lodge care home in Hampshire, said he has been asked to provide beds to ease struggling hospitals, but is worried about putting his existing residents at risk.

Mr Geach added: ‘We do not want to play Russian roulette with people’s lives.’

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents providers of all sizes, warned of a catastrophic impact unless testing is ramped up.

He said ‘hundreds’ of care homes were reporting residents displaying symptoms of coronavirus.

Professor Green insisted homes could stop the virus spreading – if they received the help they needed. ‘Homes are used to controlling infections like norovirus and flu, but they can’t get residents tested to find out if they have Covid-19.’

Another care home manager said a GP has warned her that no one over 75 in her home will be treated in hospital if they contract the virus because it would be a waste of resources. Sandra Tzannes Kastritis, of the Grange Care Home in Hove, said doctors had also been handing out ‘do not resuscitate’ forms, apparently in anticipation of widespread deaths from the virus.

The coronavirus death toll in care homes will largely go unrecorded because daily figures released by Public Health England relate only to NHS hospital fatalities. 

The Health Department said: ‘Testing is a crucial part of the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the Government is determined to provide all necessary support for staff doing incredibly important work in social care.’ 

Where are our masks?

Chronic shortages of masks, gloves and goggles are causing major problems for care homes battling the crisis.

Vital supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) promised by the Government have yet to arrive, care home bosses have warned.

And those trying to buy their own are being charged skyrocketing prices by ‘unethical’ suppliers cashing in on the crisis, it was claimed. Nadra Ahmed, of the National Care Association, said the supplies were vital if care homes were to avoid the horrific scenes witnessed in Spain and Italy.

She said: ‘We can turn the tide, but we need equipment so staff can be protected and tests so they can carry on working.

‘Our staff are used to nursing people back from pneumonia and strokes, but they can’t do it if social care continues to be seen as an afterthought.

This is like working in a war zone: Care homes are utterly unprepared for coronavirus as the elderly are being left to die without their loved ones by their side, writes PETER KYLE MP

A crisis on a scale that defies imagination is sweeping Britain’s care homes. Unseen, unreported and too often alone, our elderly are dying from the coronavirus epidemic – killed by the system that is meant to keep them safe.

And as they die, they are denied the basic comfort of seeing their loved ones for the last time.

It’s the bitter truth that it is our dedicated care workers who are the very people spreading this virus into care homes.

Meanwhile, a far greater risk is created by sending agency workers from one home to the next, unwittingly carrying the virus with them. Once Covid-19 gets into a care home, it is almost inevitable that all the residents and probably all the staff will get it

I want to say this in the starkest possible terms. The public are rightly insistent that doctors, nurses and hospital staff need urgent protection, but a catastrophe of equal proportions is going unobserved.

For while we are focused on a few hundred hospitals, there are tens of thousands of care homes across the British Isles where carers are barely coping – despite their heroic and selfless efforts.

They are utterly unprepared for this contagion. They do not have the training to deal with it, and in many cases they are lucky to have even the most basic equipment. One care home manager told me that all the protective gear she had received was a box of 250 flimsy facemasks.

But her staff continue to provide close personal care daily. They are at high risk both of contracting the virus and of spreading it. Crucially, many care workers are employed by agencies that send them to several homes in the course of a week.

At the last Prime Minister’s Questions before sittings of the Commons were suspended, the PM told me all the protective gear Britain needed would be delivered within a week. Nothing remotely like this has happened

Since the coronavirus crisis began, these institutions have closed their doors to family members. These visits are a highlight of the week for most residents, but it’s a necessary precaution.

Meanwhile, a far greater risk is created by sending agency workers from one home to the next, unwittingly carrying the virus with them. Once Covid-19 gets into a care home, it is almost inevitable that all the residents and probably all the staff will get it.

Indeed, one manager in my constituency of Hove told me that her home to 75 people was provided with just five testing kits. Four came back positive. At another with only 13 residents, seven staff are off sick with viral symptoms. One is in intensive care.

I was an aid worker in the Balkans for a decade and I’m having conversations with care staff and managers now that remind me vividly of that war zone. They are in extreme crisis, being stretched in ways they could never have anticipated.

Yet the Government seems oblivious to all this. Deaths in care homes from coronavirus are not even included in the official statistics, which are based on hospital fatalities only.

Residents are being asked to sign ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) forms and told attending hospital won’t be an option for most of them. Meanwhile, care homes are being told to prepare for inevitable outbreaks of fatal disease, in effect becoming hospices with no announcement and no public debate.

In his 90-minute press conference this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock didn’t refer to care homes once.

To solve this crisis, four things need urgently to be done. First, everyone who works in a care home has to be tested for Covid-19. If they have the infection, they must not go to work. 

Secondly, the agency system that sends carers into several homes each week must stop. The Government needs to work with employers to ensure staff are assigned to just one home each, which will mean urgent funding to increase staff capacity.

Thirdly, we need much more protective equipment. Staff don’t have even the basics to deal with Covid-19. This is an outright failure by the Government.

At the last Prime Minister’s Questions before sittings of the Commons were suspended, the PM told me all the protective gear Britain needed would be delivered within a week. Nothing remotely like this has happened.

Lastly, we need antibody tests for relatives whose loved ones are dying. People who have already had the virus need to be able to show they are no longer at risk of catching or transmitting the disease.

Without these tests, they are not allowed to be with beloved parents and grandparents in their last hours.

This week I was shocked to speechlessness when a lady named Gisela told me that her father Giuseppe had died in isolation, in a care home in my constituency.

For seven years, members of Giuseppe’s family had visited him every single day. That ended several weeks ago. 

Giuseppe, who had his 95th birthday two days before he died, was completely alone at the end. Gisela’s heart is breaking at the thought of it. That story is happening up and down the country.

It’s barbaric and we have to act now.

Peter Kyle is the Labour MP for Hove

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Care home residents play a giant game of Kerplunk to lift spirits amid lockdown

Coronavirus has hit many of us hard. And for care home residents, it’s been even more difficult and lonely as they can’t have any visitors.

But some care homes have found brilliant ways to deal with the situation, like a massive game of Hungry Hippos which most of us now want to try out.

And taking inspiration from that, another home has come up with a giant Kerplunk game to lift their spirits in isolation.

Staff at Fir Villa Residential Home in Somerset made the game from garden netting, a cardboard box, bamboo canes and balls.

Video and pictures posted on Facebook show residents smiling and laughing as they carefully pull out the sticks.

Eight of the residents at the home, which cares for 22 people aged over 65 including those with dementia, took part in the giant game.

And they all had a blast.

Laura McAllister, activities coordinator at Fir Villa, said she had been inspired after seeing the life-sized version of Hungry Hippos.

‘We played our own game of Hungry Hippos here and I was thinking what else we could do,’ she said.

‘I was using the netting in the garden and thought if I rolled it up, I could make it into a Kerplunk game.

‘I put it together when I came into work with a cardboard box that we had and I cut bamboo sticks in half with tape at the end to make sure it was safe.’

The first match featured eight players but soon others wanted to join.

One of the women staying at the home had been contacting her relatives through Skype when she saw the game and decided to hang up to play it one-on-one.

Laura adds that a bit of fun is something that’s needed right now, to take residents’ minds off the fact that they can’t see their family face-to-face.

‘We’re doing different activities to help with the isolation of not having visitors coming in.’

We hope the games did exactly that.

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