Nurse's swine flu work saves dementia residents with coronavirus

Maria Spollin used her experience of working through the swine flu crisis to deal with nursing home residents' coronavirus symptoms Credit: ITV News Central

Amid this enormous human tragedy of coronavirus-related deaths at care homes, there are miraculous tales of survival.

Thirteen residents are believed to have had the virus at one dementia care home in West Bridgford in Nottingham - and all thirteen have recovered.

It's thanks largely to a brave decision by a staff member at Church Farm at Skylarks, who had previous experience of treating people with swine flu.

Church Farm at Skylarks in West Bridgford Credit: ITV News Central

Maria Spollin is in charge of nursing at the home. She'd previously worked in intensive care. During the swine flu pandemic of 2009, she'd seen how patients were separated from one another using a method called "zoning", and decided to try something similar at Skylarks.

Staff converted a communal area into a makeshift ward with beds. With the consent of their families, residents showing signs of the virus were kept in isolation - even though it meant putting confirmed and non-confirmed cases together.

But Maria's instincts turned out to be life-saving.

First to catch the virus was Peter Stevenson, a former Brigadier in the British Army. His daughter Julia prepared for the worst.

Patrick Atkinson is the Director at Church Farm Care and says quick-thinking was the key to their success in saving lives.

Watch the exclusive report by ITV News correspondent Peter Bearne below.