Inside the Hertfordshire care home that dodged coronavirus

  • Watch a report from ITV Anglia reporter Tanya Mercer

Falcon House, a care home near Bishop's Stortford, has been lucky enough to evade coronavirus. Located in the village of Little Hallingbury, the home has had no cases throughout the crisis.

Slowly, they are adjusting to a new normal for their residents. For example, visits have recently been reinstated.

After months of being apart, Wendy Ellis is able to sit across from her mother and chat face-to-face. 

"It was horrible", Wendy told ITV Anglia. "I think it was the uncertainty of not knowing how long it was going on for and how long mum was going to cope without seeing us".

Falcon House went into lockdown in March. Credit: ITV

"The fact that we can come in has made a huge difference. Obviously we can't touch, but it's just lovely".

Falcon House's ban on visitors was one of the strict measures to keep its 27 residents and staff safe.

In early March, the home went into immediate lockdown and stopped all visits. Offices were converted into makeshift bedrooms so the main care staff could stay on-site and provide 24/7 care.     

The care home celebrated the 75th VE Day with a garden party. Credit: Falcon House

It was tough for staff and residents alike, but they were able to keep their spirits up with entertainment, like a special 75th VE day celebration in the garden.  

Tony Pepper, a resident at the care home, said him and others at the home simply got used to the restriction.

"It's like our home here", he said. "We call it our home. They think of us as family, we think of them as family." 

Now, Falcon House says clear information is vital if care homes are to continue fighting this virus.    

"That would be really useful", Deputy Manager Rosa Teoli said. "It's been a little bit contradictory along the way. What we can and can't do, what we can and can't say".

Slowly, measures at Falcon House are easing.  One family member can now visit, either in the garden or in a specified safe room with patio doors open.  One-way systems and weekly Covid-19 tests for all staff and residents are the new normal. 

They know it's all necessary to keep everyone safe. Maybe, sometime soon, they may get to see more of their loved ones.