SOME care homes in Newport are yet to receive any financial help from the Welsh Government to help keep residents safe and well during the coronavirus pandemic.

Managers at Claremont Court, The Fields, and Florence Justice Christian, have said a lack of testing and funding has left them in the midst of financial chaos.

Although they have done all they can to keep Covid-19 out of their buildings - and have been largely successful, with just three confirmed cases at Claremont Court, two at Florence Justice Christian, and none at The Fields - this has left them with a massive bill for items such as PPE. And some have said concerns over the risk of contracting the disease in a care home has left them with empty beds, causing a further financial hit.

Health minister Vaughan Gething announced last month that £40 million would be pumped into the sector - but, out of the three, only Claremont Court has received any money so far.

Caren Dixon, manager at Florence Justice Christian, in Stow Park Circle, which has space for 27 residents, said her costs had rocketed since the start of the pandemic.

“The sector will be destroyed by bad press and poor leadership if it continues - we are at the brink of financial disaster,” she said.

“People are scared of care homes now. We have seven empty beds which I’ve never known, and I’ve not received a penny in financial support.

“Suppliers have hiked up costs because they know the demand, we’re spending money we don’t have.”

Debbie Richards, manager at The Fields, in Fields Park Road, which has 32 residents, said she "bulk bought" PPE and is yet to receive a reimbursement.

“Decision-making has been far too slow on testing and funding,” she said.

“There is a feeling of being devalued. Staff are often working 12-hour shifts with few breaks worrying about whether someone in the building has the virus. The anxiety is enormous.”

Mary Mowat, general manager at Claremont Court, in Pillmawr Road, Malpas - which has received financial support - has called for quick blanket testing, and said staff need to start being valued like hospital staff.


The care home has four empty beds, 36 residents, and 75 staff being paid minimum wage while working long shifts.

South Wales Argus:

Mary Mowat, left, and care home manager Sue Percival

“We can't fill empty beds and it is an awful situation for the workers and residents,” Ms Mowat said. “Staff are scared to come to work and scared to go home."

South Wales Argus:

(Debbie Richards - centre - and her team)

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “We are providing £40 million to help the adult social care sector meet the extra costs associated with Covid-19.

"This funding is ring-fenced for this purpose and is being provided through the local authority hardship fund.

“All care home residents and members of staff are eligible for testing. Health boards are undertaking testing in every care home in Wales.

“Any care homes needing to access additional funding and support should contact their local authority straight away.”