Operators have been urged to stay on the highest alert despite the latest figures showing a slowing of the COVID-19 death rate in care homes.
The call from the Independent Care Group (ICG) came after the latest ONS figures this week which revealed that 168 people died with COVID-19 symptoms in the week ending 30 October, 15 more than the previous week. The weekly rise was the lowest for four weeks after increases of 47, 43 and 17 in the three prior weeks.
Mike Padgham, chair of the ICG, (pictured) said: “Given that the increase in deaths is much smaller for that week, there are some grounds for optimism that things are slowing.
“But this is just one week, and really it is too early to say conclusively. We must stay on our guard, on the highest of alerts and make sure those figures keep coming down and down.
“We must never forget that one death from COVID-19 is a death too many and each loss is a tragedy – a loved one, a husband or wife, father or mother, brother or sister, aunt or uncle or friend.
The smaller rise in care home deaths followed news week of the successful trial of a COVID-19 vaccine which could begin roll-out before Christmas.
Despite the more positive outlook, care homes continued to report serious outbreaks this week, however.
HC-One confirmed 28 residents and 21 staff had tested positive at its Fairview care home in Bannockburn. A further seven staff members are self-isolating and awaiting results. Sadly, fewer than five residents have passed away with the home unable to confirm numbers for privacy reasons.
Elsewhere, 37 positive cases have been reported at Kingdom Homes’ Craigie House in Crossgates, Fife with 33 resident and 18 members of staff testing positive at St Stephen’s Care Home in Worcester, which is run by Gold Care Homes.