Jodie Boucher, who runs Carr Croft in Leeds, spoke of her “immense pride” of the home’s record but said there is no “magic secret” other than simply “following the rules” – which includes regular tests for staff and frequent risk assessments.
She spoke just days after official figures revealed that 30,000 deaths had occurred among care home residents since the start of the pandemic last year.
Boucher described her 26 elderly residents, some of whom have dementia, as her “extended family” and said she would “do anything in the world” for them.
The 43-year-old even decided to avoid seeing her two children on Christmas Day so that she could be with her residents without having to worry about passing anything on.
It's thought Carr Croft is one of only a handful of care homes in the UK which have avoided a single positive coronavirus test since the pandemic began.
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The home was locked down during spring with the rest of the country before restrictions were eased, which enabled residents to enjoy garden visits with loved ones.
The home was locked down again in November ahead of a slight easing over Christmas before the third and current lockdown was implemented this month.
All those living at Carr Croft have now been vaccinated, which Ms Boucher said has given everyone a “little boost” despite the ongoing lockdown.
She has put many of the same measures in place as other care homes around the country such as handwashing facilities and access to personal protective equipment on entry.
Boucher said: “There’s no magic secret which explains why we have managed to avoid any positive tests.
“Following the guidance and maintaining a strict testing regime has been key.
“I’m passionate and so are my staff about we do, so we have done everything to the best of our ability.
“I really can’t praise the people I work with enough, they’re wonderful.”
She added: “I’m immensely proud of my brilliant staff and also the lovely residents who live here, everyone has been amazing.
“We’ve really come together to make it work despite all the challenges – and there have been a lot of challenges over the past 12 months.”
Boucher said it has been “heartbreaking” to watch events unfold and that she is concerned about how the perception of care homes may have changed.
She added: “There has been so much negative news that I worry people might have lost trust in what we do.
“I want our home to show that there are good news stories out there, it’s not all doom and gloom everywhere.
“A vast majority of people who work in care are like us – committed to the job. I want the public to see that.”
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