CARE HOME staff have been hailed "angels" by ensuring a resident never spends a day apart from his wife.

Bert Hayward, 88 praised staff at Longmead Court Nursing Home for doing their upmost to make sure he sees his wife, who is a resident, everyday throughout the pandemic.

His wife, Stella moved into the care home in 2014 and he has visited her every day since.

When the pandemic hit Bert was only allowed to visit during "window visits", meaning he could only see his wife of 63 years through a glass window.

But as soon as it was possible the care home and its staff went “above and beyond” to ensure Bert could visit his wife as often as possible, says Bert.

"I hadn’t spent a single day apart from Stella since the day we got married. Only seeing her through a window was truly heartbreaking but the staff were there to support us both,” said Bert.

Bert and Stella's relationship formed when they began writing to each other whilst Bert was at war in North Korea in 1953 and went on to tie the knot in 1955.

Staff at the care home could see the effect the restrictions were having on the couple, particularly Stella and they knew how important it was for her wellbeing for Bert to be by her side.

Stella was then moved to a section of the home which caters for end of life care – an area of the home that was never fully closed to relatives during the pandemic.

Once Bert was able to go back inside the home, staff went the extra mile to cater for the couple’s needs and Bert is now treated by staff as an ‘un-official resident’.

Kelly Corrie, manager at the care home said, “We could see how much Stella was suffering without Bert, so once restrictions eased, we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to claw back some normality for them.

“We want Longmead Court to be a home from home for the residents and their loved ones and person-centered care, which promotes independence and choice is at the heart of what we do.”

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Prior to the restrictions, Bert moved into the home during Christmas 2019. The staff have since invited Bert back for Christmas 2021 providing there are no additional restrictions.

Bert said, “I call the staff ‘my angels’, they are all so kind and really look after me – even though I’m not an official resident I still feel very much part of the Longmead family and it’s very homely here.

“We have a good laugh and I often bring them flowers to say thank you for all they do for myself and Stella.”