- All residents and 20 staff caught Covid at The Old Hall care home in Lincolnshire
- Eighteen residents – aged 79 to 99 – died, some without seeing their relatives
- Home manager Diane Vale described the situation as ‘absolutely horrendous’
- Care Quality Commission found the home had done everything to prevent the virus spread but was ‘impossible to pinpoint the cause’
- Now full with 26 residents, the home is set to receive vaccinations tomorrow
PUBLISHED: 13:58, 19 January 2021 | UPDATED: 18:04, 19 January 2021
A Lincolnshire care home boss has described the ‘absolutely horrendous’ ordeal of seeing 18 elderly residents die in a coronavirus outbreak.
All residents and 20 staff members at The Old Hall at Halton Holegate, near Spilsby, became infected with the virus in November, with the first resident dying on the 16th.
Over the next six weeks another 17 people died from Covid. Most were in their 90s, with the youngest aged 79 and the oldest 99.Read More
Some of the deaths were so sudden staff did not have the chance to administer end-of-life treatment or arrange for loved ones to say goodbye.
Following an inspection by CQC, the care home regulator, the home was found to have been doing everything it could to prevent the spread of the virus.
Diane Vale, the care home’s manager, said the situation had been ‘absolutely horrendous’ and that some deaths were so sudden staff could not administer end-of-life treatment or arrange for loved ones to say goodbye.+2
Diane Vale, the care home’s manager, said the situation had been ‘absolutely horrendous’ and that some deaths were so sudden staff could not administer end-of-life treatment or arrange for loved ones to say goodbye
‘We didn’t have anybody who wasn’t positive, every resident and 20 out of 28 staff. It was absolutely horrendous.’
‘Some did pass on their own because there was no suggestion anything was going to happen. We went in to do checks and they had gone,’ she told The Guardian.
The home had plenty of checks in place to deal with an outbreak, but tragically the rapid spread left Diane and her team powerless.
‘We had a contingency plan in place for positive cases, using our upstairs area and our three separate wings, but then everybody tested positive all on the same day, so it just went out the window.
‘Because all the staff were positive as well we just kept on working as best we could, there were a couple of colleagues who did have to go off when it affected them quite badly.’
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This is the deadliest outbreak to have emerged in an English care home during the second wave of the pandemic as the new, more transmissible strain of the virus spreads across the country.
According to The Guardian, 52 people died from Covid in Lincolnshire-area care homes between late November and 3 January, second only to the number of care home deaths, 71, in East Riding. +2
Some of the deaths were so sudden staff did not have the chance to administer end-of-life treatment or arrange for loved ones to say goodbye
On January 7, a ‘significant outbreak’ was declared at a 49-bed care home in Grantham, with 30 residents and 32 staff testing positive for coronavirus since mid-December. Five residents have died, three in the home and two in hospital.
Now full again with 26 residents, Diane is hopeful she will not see a repeat of the run-up to Christmas after being told everyone at the home will receive a vaccine tomorrow.
‘We are doing ok now, I guess you could say fortunately we had everybody become infected all at once,’ she said. ‘We are covid free at the moment and hopefully we will stay that way.
‘We’re getting the vaccinations tomorrow, they rang us last week and told us that we were booked in for tomorrow, and they’ll be vaccinating all the residents and all the staff.
‘The home is full again now, we’ve got 26 residents in a just one empty room at the moment, unfortunately there has been a lot of people in hospital and there has been quite a lot of demand to move them in when they are well enough.
‘We are quite lucky though really, some homes have folded because they haven’t been able to keep it financially viable.’
Diane also gave thanks to her staff, saying: ‘It was the staff that got me through it and my deputy, Andrea, I would not have been able to do it without her … The staff were amazing.’ Read more:
- Two-thirds of residents die in Covid outbreak at Lincolnshire care home | Coronavirus | The Guardian
Two-thirds of Lincolnshire care home residents die in Covid outbreak
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