Published: 15:51, 22 October 2020
| Updated: 16:40, 22 October 2020
When the virus came, it came quickly and was simply "horrible", says one care home boss.
In total, 10 people living at Darland House nursing home in Gillingham , died of Covid-19 between April and October, a further 15 survived the illness.
This week as parts of the the country seem to be in the grip of a second wave, a care boss has described what staff have had to face.
Head of service at the Darland Avenue home, Sam Robinson, said: "All in all, the only word I can use for it, is 'horrible'.
"It has been awful, I've been a nurse for over 30 years and this has been one of the worst things I have ever had to deal with.
"When Covid hit us, it wasn't a surprise, we knew it was coming. But with the support of Medway Community Healthcare, we were as prepared as we could be.
"We had already started to put things in place and began looking at things around PPE and infection control.
"I think what surprised us was the speed in which it took over more than anything – everyone was going about their normal lives outside of work and no-one could predict how quick it all changed."
Darland House provides specialised support for people living with dementia who are eligible for NHS funding.
Due to the rapid onset of the virus, it was hit with a rising number of cases which led to a sharp increase in deaths in a short period of time.
"It's always hard when we lose a resident," Sam added.
"Our residents tend to be with us for long periods of time and we are used to dealing with them at the end of their lives, and we have all the skills necessary to be able to support them.
"But I think what was hard was the amount of deaths we had in a very short period of time, which was unusual for us."
However, she says she is now confident the home is moving in the right direction to tackle the virus safely and effectively after having no Covid-related deaths for five months.
They have implemented much stricter regimes regarding visits, new arrivals and PPE.
All staff and residents are swabbed weekly and visiting family members are temperature checked and given allocated slots to help control the virus.
She added: "The staff and I have been affected as well, so we completely understand how everyone feels and what they are going through.
"We know this is horrible for everybody, we are just trying to do the best that we can within the guidelines to make sure everyone is safe."
"It has been awful, I've been a nurse for over 30 years and this has been one of the worst things I have ever had to deal with"
"I work with a great group of people and as their head of service I always feel very proud of everything they do, especially over the last few months.
"They have managed to support each other and keep the service going while managing to keep our residents safe – and that really is why we are here."