Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Balhousie lays bare Covid toll including 41 deaths on 12-month coronavirus anniversary

Balhousie care Home in Methil
Balhousie care Home in Methil

Scotland’s largest care home provider has laid bare the horrific toll of Covid-19 on their facilities which has resulted in 41 deaths and costs of more than £500,000.

The Perth-based Balhousie Care Group, which has homes across Tayside and Fife, revealed the devastating impact of the virus on their staff and residents.

Bosses of the care group have warned that living with Covid-19 is the “new normal” and detailed the stress and anxiety employees have felt during the pandemic.

Balhousie have seen outbreaks at 10 of their 26 facilities in the past year – with North Inch Care Home in Perth suffering multiple positive cases as recently as mid-February.

Nine residents died at Balhousie Lisden in Kirriemuir last summer after testing positive for coronavirus.

One care worker at the facility, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It was emotional coming home after work.

“I was scared for my family and felt I was putting them at risk being around them and working in the care home.

“But the hardest thing was the decline in the residents after contracting the virus.

“It was like a domino effect.”

Jill Kerr, group chief executive officer, insisted that every resident the care group had lost had an underlying health condition and she remained proud of her staff’s efforts during the crisis.

“It has hit the whole Balhousie family hard and that’s something that continues as we all adapt to the fact that dealing with this deadly virus is our new normal,” said Jill.

“Ten of our 26 homes have had Covid-positive cases but the emotional toll on residents, staff and relatives across all of our homes has been huge.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how staff have stepped up to the enormous stress, extra work and responsibilities the pandemic has thrown at them.

“Despite all of this, they have put their residents first above all else.”

Bosses at the care group believe costs related to Covid are estimated at around an extra £500,000.

Chaotic testing forces staff to play ‘Russian roulette’ every day, care home boss claims

The expenditure includes PPE, new thermal imaging cameras, cleaning equipment, private Covid tests, and extra staff hours.

Jill called for more care homes to be transparent with how the pandemic has impacted the sector.

She said: “The public and politicians need to understand more fully what we as care home operators have been through and continue to go through and how the Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped our sector forever.”

Tony Banks, chairman of Balhousie added: “Some words and actions of support from politicians for care homes is needed too.

Our reputations have suffered hugely this last year.

“It’s time for the governments, both Scottish and national, to invest in a campaign to boost public confidence in care homes, much as they have done with their campaign to promote the NHS.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in