Littlehampton care home takes inventive approach to tackling covid-19

A Littlehampton care home has taken an innovative approach to tackling the unseen scourge of coronavirus.

Mewsbrook House, in East Street, has installed thermal imaging cameras at the entrance and inside the home to detect whether visitors or residents have a high temperature.

The camera, developed by London-based company Eserve CCTV, sends an alert to staff if somebody approaches the entrance with a temperature of more than 37.5 degrees Celsius.

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A member of the care team can then check if the temperature is the result of a fever or, if the person has overheated from vigorous exercise, for example, they can be given time to cool down before trying to enter again.

Theresha Jayasuriya, Elvira Llamas and Joely Dighton at Mewsbrook House SUS-200713-172548001

By having another camera in the lounge area, it allows staff to monitor the temperature of residents round the clock.

“Now if covid gets into the care home, we can see it immediately,” said Su Grant, the home’s registered manager.

Su said Mewsbrook House cares for patients with dementia and mental health disorders, who can be resistant to the twice-daily temperature checks required under covid guidelines.

The internal camera allows their temperature to be checked 20 to 30 times a day, Su said, without intrusion.

Unlike many care homes which have tragically been ravaged by the virus, Mewsbrook House managed to avoid suffering any outbreaks at all.

Su attributes that to their pro-active response: she initiated a full lockdown on March 13 – 11 days before the UK-wide shutdown was announced.

The home then bought ‘as much PPE as it could’ and introduced strict hygiene measures.

“We prepared for it by hoping for the best but expecting the worst,” she said. “We’ve managed every day differently but I was totally supported by my staff and I was totally supportive of them – it’s been an amazing team effort.

“It’s been a scary time and we’ve all had days when we’ve been scared. I’ve gone home and cried but you think about what needs to be done and come back in the next day.”

These new cameras are the next step in the fight against the virus.