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Nine coronavirus-related deaths recorded at Cambridge care home

Nine deaths related to the coronavirus were recorded at a care home in Cambridge over the course of 25 days, a report has shown.

The deaths occurred between March 16 and April 9 at Langdon House, in Union Lane, Chesterton.

The number of deaths from Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire care homes is unknown (34014392)
The number of deaths from Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire care homes is unknown (34014392)

Four of those who died had tested positive for Covid-19, while five more deaths were attributed to the virus, although testing was unavailable at the time.

One other person died at the home in the period, but this was unrelated to the coronavirus. There have been further deaths at Langdon House since April 9, but none has been attributed to Covid-19.

CHS Group, which runs the home, has confirmed that the care home has put all of the government’s advised measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

The company said strict lockdown measures require all residents to isolate in their rooms and no visitors have been permitted except in end of life situations, for which CHS provides visitors with full PPE.

All staff members have used full PPE as necessary since the Covid-19 outbreak began in the UK.

Chief executive Nigel Howlett said: “We are truly saddened that the residents of Langdon House have been so horribly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our deepest sympathies go to the families and loved ones affected. The safety of CHS Group residents, staff members and the wider community is of utmost importance, and we have put all of the advised official measures in place to combat the spread of the virus.”

“Currently, at Langdon House, we have 31 residents who have no symptoms, and two residents who are self-isolating, one of which has tested positive for Covid-19 and is now recovering. Both residents are self-isolating and we wish them both a full and fast recovery.

“It has been a challenging couple of months, and there has, up until recently, been a significant lack of provision from the government of effective testing to help care homes and care providers to manage this huge crisis.

“Now that better provisions for testing are in place, it has allowed us to gain more control of the virus through testing. We have, and continue to, source and supply our own PPE and staff cover. We would like to thank all of our team members who have worked incredibly hard to care for our residents over the past couple of months.”

Labour councillors representing the area expressed their sympathy to the families of those who had died, and said it was another example of the government’s “disastrous” handling of the pandemic.

Mayor Cllr Gerri Bird, Cllr Carla McQueen and Cllr Baiju Thittala - city councillors representing East Chesterton - and Cllr Elisa Meschini, a county councillor representing the King’s Hedges division - said they were “incredibly sad” to hear of the deaths.

“As your elected councillors, we want to say this is not just the death of nine people in our ward, but the loss to nine families and the wider community in which we all live,” they said in a statement.

“We can imagine this is a shock for many residents locally, as Cambridge has been less affected relatively to other areas.

“We also want to send our genuine gratitude and support to all those who work in Langdon and all our care homes, especially ones in which there have been positive cases.

“We believed before this pandemic that our carer and care staff were underpaid and undervalued. It is sad it has come to this for the government to remedy this injustice.

ONS statistics on Covid-19 deaths in care homes in England to May 8
ONS statistics on Covid-19 deaths in care homes in England to May 8

“That Landgon has been affected at all is another example of this government’s disastrous handling of this pandemic, the ending of track and trace on March 12 and the decision to release untested and symptomatic patients from hospital into care homes like Langdon.

“This irresponsible and potentially criminal behaviour has led to deaths like these, and going forward we need to ensure the test, track and isolate policy is properly implemented and that, in the long term, care homes get the benefit of the attention and support that have rightly been given to our NHS as a nationalised service.”

The deaths were confirmed in county council documents released this week.

It reported that as of April 12, there had been 21 deaths from all causes at the 100-bedWoodlands Care Centre in Hawkins Road, and nine deaths from all causes at the 66-bed Buchan House in Buchan Street.

It has previously been reported that there were 17 deaths at Woodlands Care Centre over two weeks in April. Two people had tested positive for Covid-19, one of whom died and one of whom recovered. The other 16 had not been tested.

The number of deaths related to Covid-19 at Buchan House has not been released.

ONS statistics on Covid-19 deaths in England to May 8, using different sources
ONS statistics on Covid-19 deaths in England to May 8, using different sources

A spokesperson for Excelcare, which runs Buchan House, told the Cambridge Independent: “At this present time; the homes are all working above and beyond to keep our residents safe and as well as we can; our frontline staff are providing exceptional care and daily stimulation to all, whilst also ensuring they are keeping in touch with their loved ones through digital technology.

“Whilst we have sadly lost some residents since the pandemic not all have been related to Covid-19 and the number of symptomatic people that have recovered outweighs the number of deaths, which we feel is very positive and gives us all hope that with good care, PPE and robust infection control procedures, we can beat this virus with the support of our relatives and the community who have been exceptional during these difficult times.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recorded 21 of the 38 deaths in these Cambridge care homes as Covid-19 related.

Official figures show there were 78 deaths in care homes involving Covid-19 across Cambridgeshire between April 10 and May 15. The numbers are provisional and may be subject to change.

The ONS said up to May 8, there were 8,393 deaths in care homes involving Covid-19 that were notified to the CQC. There were an additional 1,200 deaths of care home residents where the location of death was not stated by the care home provider.

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