A REDUNDANT care home is being brought back into use as the council works to secure as many beds as possible to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Somerset County Council is working with other local authorities and care providers in the area to help during the national crisis.

To ensure more hospital beds are available for Covid-19 patients, more medically-well people will be helped to return home or to a care home.

This will be happening quickly and safely in the coming days, and many of those leaving hospital will need care support, either at home or in a care home.

Extra rooms have been bought in care homes across the county and so far one redundant care home will be brought back into use.

Local authority staff are being retrained to work in care, but more are needed across the care sector.

In response to this, Somerset’s local authorities are appealing for former care workers to come forward and help further strengthen the system. They are looking for people who have ideally worked in care settings before and have retired or moved into different fields.

These will be paid positions working for care providers, initially Somerset Care, the county’s largest care provider. Refresher training and support will be provided.

The following roles are needed:

  • Care home workers who can assists with personal care
  • Nurses who can oversee care plans
  • Domestic support – cleaning and preparing meals
  • Gardeners and property maintenance

A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said: "This initiative is a joint project between Somerset’s local authorities, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the county’s two acute hospitals – Musgrove Park in Taunton and Yeovil District Hospital – Somerset CCG and Somerset Care.

"All the councils in Somerset are committed to working together to protect vulnerable people and help the NHS cope with the pressures and challenges of Coronavirus.

"More than 60 rooms have been bought in existing care homes across Somerset, along with all the spaces in a new six-bed facility in Minehead.

"Acacia Nursing Home, in Yeovil, is also being brought back into operation providing another 40 rooms and there’s potential to stand-up a further 40-70 rooms elsewhere in the county if needed."

Anyone who thinks they may be able to help should call 0300 123 2224.