A 90-year-old woman is facing Christmas alone after Covid-19 outbreaks prevented her from moving to a care home near her family.

Anne Phillimore, from Calne, is currently at Hays House nursing home in Shaftesbury, over an hour away from her family.

She has been waiting to be transferred to a care home closer to Calne since October, after being discharged from hospital in September.

The council secured her a bed which met her needs at Avon Court Care Home in Chippenham but have transported her there, due to a coronavirus outbreak at Avon Court in November.

While this outbreak has ended, another one has begun at Hays House, causing her transfer on Wednesday, December 21 to be cancelled.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mrs Phillimore has been well looked after at Hays House in Shaftesbury.Mrs Phillimore has been well looked after at Hays House in Shaftesbury. (Image: Diane Phillimore)

Mrs Phillimore’s daughter, Diane, says her mother has been worn down by the experience.

She said: “It’s been utter chaos and it’s absolutely breaking us. Visiting is difficult because of work and we’re looking at about four hours out of our day.

“She hasn’t seen her grandchildren or great grandchildren because it’s too far for those with transport to travel.

“She’s just a shadow of herself. I’m not faulting any care she’s had, it’s all been impeccable… the carers have been amazing but she tells them to go away because she’s so unsettled.”

Mrs Phillimore has not tested positive for Covid-19 herself but the Department of Health and Social Care’s guidelines for infection control in care homes state that during a Covid-19 outbreak, defined as two or more positive tests within the same setting over two weeks, new admissions to the home may be reduced or temporarily suspended at the discretion of care home staff.

These measures must be proportionate and “consider resident wellbeing, the care home’s legal obligations, and be risk based.”

HC One, who manage Avon Court, say they were not able to admit residents during the November outbreak but are now accepting them on a case-by-case basis.

A spokesperson said: “Our care colleagues have worked tirelessly to keep residents safe and connected throughout the past two years. 

“As our home is not currently in Covid outbreak, we are adhering closely to government guidelines on admissions and working in consultation with Local Authority partners.

“In line with this guidance, and to keep our residents and colleagues safe, any decisions to welcome somebody from a care setting which is currently experiencing a Covid outbreak would be taken on a case-by-case basis after a thorough risk assessment. 

“We are proud to provide a safe and welcoming home for the local community, and will continue to work with our Local Authority and health partners to deliver responsible and compassionate care.”

Mrs Phillamore’s daughter has been frustrated by the regulations.

She argued: “It’s ongoing, when Hays House is free of Covid she is due to move but what if Avon Court get another case? Then they won’t take her and we’ll be back to the same scenario we’ve been in for the last three months.

“The visiting is restricted but my sister will try and go over there on Christmas Eve”, she added.

“Mum is 90 years old and it’s like she’s been abandoned by her family. She hasn’t, we’re doing the best we can but we’ve reached the end of the line.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mrs Phillimore's family are desperate for her to return closer to Calne.Mrs Phillimore's family are desperate for her to return closer to Calne. (Image: Diane Phillimore)

Cllr Jane Davies, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “We respect the privacy of those we care for, so do not comment on specific cases.

“We work closely with people needing care to ensure they have the right support in place to help them live comfortably and independently.

“If families are unhappy we would ask them to make direct contact so issues can be addressed.”

The new date for Mrs Phillimore’s move is January 2, 2023.