Bupa has issued a firm rebuttal of allegations it hid COVID-19 infections from staff and families at its Richmond Witney retirement village in Oxfordshire.
The response came after an unnamed source told the Witney Gazette managers at the retirement village had “decided not to notify the staff or families” of confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The source claimed there were three deaths in 24 hours at the village, adding residents were “still free to roam the building rather be told to isolate themselves”.
In a further allegation, the source claimed that staff on the care floor of the village had been told they did not need to wear PPE or full gowns when entering residents’ rooms. The source added that the only PPE made available to staff was gloves and masks.
Issuing a firm rebuttal of the report’s claims, Bev Ingram, Regional Operations Manager for Richmond Witney, said: “The wellbeing of our residents and staff comes first, and we’re doing everything we can to keep people safe. This includes following strict advice from Public Health England and ensuring that everyone has all the personal protective equipment they need.
“Very sadly we have seen one resident pass away with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Our thoughts are with their family during this very sad time.
“We have a great relationship with our residents and relatives, much of which is based on open conversation. We sadly received confirmation of COVID-19 within the village on Sunday 5th April, and notified all residents, relatives and colleagues the very next day.”
Bupa added that residents were being asked to follow social distancing rules in line with national guidance as with other members of the general public, with many residents having chosen to stay inside their homes.