RESIDENTS at a Halesowen care home have been able to come face to face with their loved ones thanks to a new pod.

The pod has been installed in the grounds of Lapal House - which had an outbreak of Covid-19 back in April - but is now thankfully free of the virus.

It allows residents to socially distance with family members outside in all weathers - with a screen between the resident and their family member to keep them safe.

It means they are able to see each other, and have a chat too but there's no hugging or touching.

Halesowen News:

The home in Lapal Lane South was hit hard by the pandemic when in April five residents and 13 staff tested positive for Covid-19 - with one resident passing away.

Tony Billingham, owner of Lapal House, said: "We are now totally free of the virus and we want to keep it that way, so the bubble is great.

"It allows us to adhere to strict guidelines.

"It's actually called HypeDome Garden Pod but we call it the bubble!

"It allows social distancing - there's two chairs and a coffee table and a pull up screen and it's in the beautiful surroundings of the grounds.

"It's become very popular.

"It's been a godsend - it's been an unbelievable success and people are queuing up to get an hour's slot with their loved one in it.

"It's been very emotional for family members to be able to meet up safely."

The bubble, which is made out of perspex, is sanitised between uses.

Halesowen News:

Lapal House has 41 residents and six vacancies. All its residents are privately funded.

Mr Billingham also owns Grange Hill House care home in Hunnington and Beechcroft Residential Home in Oldbury, which he said have both remained free of coronavirus.