'A little bit of hope' - Care home manager look back on last 10 months

Danielle Bullent, manager of Laurel Lodge, has spoken of the ways staff have had to adapt in the last 10 months.

Danielle Bullent, manager of Laurel Lodge, has spoken of the ways staff have had to adapt in the last 10 months. - Credit: Laurel Lodge

A Norwich care home manager has described the challenge that has faced staff over the last 10 months as it continues to keep out coronavirus.

Laurel Lodge, in Ipswich Road, Norwich, has reported no outbreaks of the virus in its home.

Manager Danielle Bullent praised her staff for the lengths they had gone to for residents at a time when they felt scared, anxious and worried, adding how elated everyone was after received their first Covid-19 jab on January 16.

Laurel Lodge's manager said staff have been innovative, motivated and caring as they faced the coronavirus pandemic.

Laurel Lodge's manager said staff have been innovative, motivated and caring as they faced the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: Laurel Lodge

Laurel Lodge's manager said staff have been innovative, motivated and caring as they faced the coronavirus pandemic.

Laurel Lodge's manager said staff have been innovative, motivated and caring as they faced the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: Laurel Lodge

She said staff had given up days off and time with their own families and found innovative ways to help residents stay connected with loved ones.

Miss Bullent said: "I can't begin to describe the elation and atmosphere in the home that day, it was like a little bit hope had been instilled in both the residents and staff. I cannot thank the surgery enough for their efforts and the service they gave, it really meant everything to us.


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"During the first lockdown everything was unknown, daunting and worrying, they took it in their stride day by day. This time they are better prepared, informed and have a huge amount of understanding of the risks and consequences. 

Laurel Lodge staff have used their musical skills to keep residents entertained during the pandemic.

Laurel Lodge staff have used their musical skills to keep residents entertained during the pandemic. - Credit: Laurel Lodge

Laurel Lodge staff have used their musical skills to keep residents entertained during the pandemic.

Laurel Lodge staff have used their musical skills to keep residents entertained during the pandemic. - Credit: Laurel Lodge

"We have not had an outbreak of covid, this is a huge achievement in itself and I can only praise them for following policies and procedures wholeheartedly, they continue not to be complacent, and are fully aware of their responsibilities."

The home organised a surprise anniversary dinner for its residents Derek and Phyllis Mapes after they missed their 66th wedding anniversary. 

Danielle Bullent, manager of Laurel Lodge, in Norwich, wanted to thank her team for their work and continuing to keep...

Danielle Bullent, manager of Laurel Lodge, in Norwich, wanted to thank her team for their work and continuing to keep coronavirus out of the home. - Credit: Laurel Lodge

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Miss Bullent said: "I have witnessed first hand the compassion and dedication they have all given, every single day, even when the team have felt scared, anxious and worried about the effects this awful virus has, and continues to throw at us, they still show up, smiling, happy and always give more than is asked of them." 

Andy Twite, former regional manager for Laurel Lodge, praised staff for working to keep a "semblance of normality" for residents.

He said: "The social care sector has for too long been the unsung hero of elderly care and I think this has been evidenced never more than during this pandemic. Every single one of them across the country, if not the world, deserve all the recognition and positivity we can muster, for they have held the line during what have been truly unprecedented times – we are indebted to them."


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