A TAUNTON care company has been so busy during the coronavirus crisis that it’s had to take on more staff and move to bigger offices.

Louise Walker, of Taunton Homecare Services, has more than tripled her workforce to cope with increased demand to visit clients in their own homes.

She believes more elderly people are opting to remain at home rather than move into care homes over fears of catching Covid-19.

Mrs Walker said: "Because of Covid-19, we’ve been inundated with work.

"We’ve had to take on more staff. The workforce has expanded from four to 14 over the past year and especially during recent months.

"Some are full time and others are part time.

"We've taken on some staff who were carers in the past who have felt they were needed at this time and wanted to give something back to help people."

To cope with the extra staff, Taunton Homecare Services has relocated from a small office to larger premises in Canon Street in the county town.

That has helped to create more team spirit.

"It was difficult for staff to meet up before due to social distancing as everything was crowded into a small space before, but they can now come in and out safely," said Mrs Walker.

"It's got team work going again.

"So many of the staff hadn't met one another before as we were running Zoom meetings."

Mrs Walker said the company is now arranging home visits for three times as many clients as before the crisis.

She added: "The council is wanting to get people out of hospital, but those people are maybe more nervous about going into care homes at the moment.

"Loved ones are needing more care and there's a whole sea change of needs.

"People in their 60s are taking care of people in their 80s and 90s, but they're unable to do that because of being self isolated themselves, which is where our home carers come in.

"We've tried to step up to the challenge by taking on more staff and we've made sure that, whatever the cost, staff have personal protective equipment (PPE).

"The county council and adult social services have been amazing in supporting us."