COVID outbreak at Lincolnshire care home kills two thirds of residents

  • Chris Easom
  • January 22, 2021

Eighteen residents at a care home near Spilsby died after a six-week coronavirus outbreak, which also led to two staff being treated in hospital.

All 27 residents at The Old Hall at Halton Holegate, which is run by Kesh-Care Limited, tested positive at the same time on November 16, as well as 20 staff.

Sadly, two thirds of the residents died, with most in their 90s

Nurse isolating in caravan for nine months moves back home

  • Chris Easom
  • January 21, 2021

A nurse who lived in a caravan for nine months to protect her mother from coronavirus says moving back into her house was like “winning the lottery”. Sarah Link and her husband Gary, who usually share a home with her mother, bought the caravan in March to allow them to isolate. “I have cried a river in the caravan, if it wasn’t for Gary, I wouldn’t have got through it,” Mrs Link said. They moved back home for Christmas after her mother received the vaccine.

Care homes consider legal challenge to force their workers to take vaccine

  • Chris Easom
  • January 19, 2021

Care providers are seeking legal advice over whether they can force staff to have a coronavirus jab, as a poll reveals some young people are shunning vaccines. The National Care Association has taken the unprecedented step of seeking a legal opinion on whether care home workers can be made to accept vaccination after thousands refused. Between 6% and 8% of the 1.5 million adult social care workforce in England are declining jabs.

Amazon plots a course into the healthcare industry

  • Chris Easom
  • January 18, 2021

“I think the impact would be huge,” says Ahsan Bhatti, owner of online pharmacy Quick Meds. He is concerned about the prospect of online giant Amazon moving into the pharmacy business in the UK. “I’m worried. They’ll have a massive marketing budget, and they’ll definitely take a sizeable chunk out of every other pharmacy on the market. There will be closures as a direct result of it,” he says. Mr Bhatti will be closely watching developments in the US where Amazon Pharmacy launched in November.

More military personnel to join fight against coronavirus pandemic

  • Chris Easom
  • January 15, 2021

Hundreds of extra military personnel are being deployed across the UK to tackle COVID-19, in the biggest homeland operation the UK has ever seen in peacetime. It will take the number of armed forces working in the fight against the pandemic, codenamed Operation Rescript, to over 5,000 – more than at any point during the pandemic.

Midlands hands out most COVID jabs

  • Chris Easom
  • January 14, 2021

A regional breakdown of England’s vaccines rollout shows the Midlands leading the way in the number of jabs administered, while London has the lowest vaccination rate.

New NHS data shows 2,371,407 doses have been given in total across the country – that includes 1,997,304 first doses and 374,103 second doses – in the week leading up to 10 January.

The Rhondda boy who climbed a mountain carrying potatoes

  • Chris Easom
  • January 9, 2021

People devised many ways to avoid becoming couch potatoes during lockdown. But few were as novel as actually carrying sacks of potatoes up a Rhondda mountain. Corey Williams, 10, did not stop there though – cycling up another and running up a third. His efforts raised £4,000 to buy tablet computers for patients at hospitals such as Llantrisant’s Royal Glamorgan who could not have visitors.

Joe Wicks online PE classes to return next week

  • Chris Easom
  • January 8, 2021

Joe Wicks is restarting his online PE lessons from next week, to help families keep fit during lockdown. The personal trainer told the BBC he wanted to “give children structure” and help them feel “more optimistic”. He said live sessions would run on his YouTube channel at 09:00 GMT on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Chief medical officer warns coronavirus vaccine shortages will last months

  • Chris Easom
  • January 8, 2021

Vaccine shortages are likely to cause problems for “several months”, England’s chief medical officer has warned, amid fears that emergency healthcare staff at COVID “battle stations” are at risk of burnout. Professor Chris Whitty said the UK needs to urgently maximise the number of people who are vaccinated, as he defended a shift to prioritise first doses for as many at-risk people as possible. But he said a lack of global supplies will likely hamper efforts to protect the nation in the first part of 2021.

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