'No room for complacency' - warning as weekly number of care home deaths in Hampshire remain the same

'THERE is no room for complacency' a union has warned, as the latest figures show the number of weekly Covid-19 care home deaths in Hampshire have remained the same for two weeks.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 5:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 7:34 pm

Data collected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revealed that between May 30 and June 5 there were 15 deaths linked to coronavirus in care homes in the Hampshire County Council area.

There were also 15 the week before, suggesting an overall decline compared to other weeks when the numbers were as high as 81 in seven days.

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The Hampshire County Council area has seen the largest number of Covid-19 deaths in care homes since records began

This brings the total in Hampshire to 377, meaning it remains the local authority area with the highest number of care home deaths linked to Covid-19 since the records began on April 10.

And between May 30 and June 5 there were no new care home deaths related to the virus in Portsmouth leaving the city's total as 37. The last recorded care home death in the city was on May 11.

The south east regional secretary for public service union Unison, Steve Torrance, said: 'Care staff will welcome this drop in the number of reported deaths, but know there is no room for complacency.

'Fundamental changes in how the care sector is financed and organised are clearly needed.

'But for now staff are staying cautious and doing everything they can to keep some of the most vulnerable people in society safe and ensure there is no return to the disastrous situation of just a few weeks ago.'

The figures also showed that deaths involving Covid-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes decreased to 28.2 per cent in the week of May 23, compared with 32.5 per cent in the previous week.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, adult social care and health boss at Hampshire County Council, added: 'The number of deaths in our local authority care homes has broadly reached pre-coronavirus levels, and the downwards trend continues across Hampshire’s independent care home sector too.

'While this is very encouraging, we must continue to be extremely vigilant. This means maintaining our stringent infection control procedures, isolating those we care for with confirmed Covid-19 or symptoms of the virus, from those who are well, limiting visitors to ‘end of life’ visiting only, and helping to ensure the government’s national care home testing programme is implemented across all homes in our county.

'By staying alert we hope to see the virus brought further under control across all residential and nursing homes in Hampshire.'

Southampton saw six new deaths between May 30 and June 5, up from two the week before – bringing its total to 52.

In England there have now been 11,614 care home deaths linked to coronavirus – with 424 deaths between May 30 and June 5. The previous week there were 535.

Portsmouth City Council was approached for comment.

Some of the weekly figures increase in later data releases when more deaths in the period are notified to CQC.

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