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Seven dead at care home under police investigation



Two more people have died in a care home in Devon that is under investigation by police over a Covid-19 outbreak.

The seven people who have now died since 6 March at Holmesley Care Home in Sidmouth all tested positive for coronavirus, according to Devon and Cornwall Police.

The police launched what they said was a ‘complex’ investigation focusing on infection control and management within the home in partnership with other agencies, including the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Ten residents are in hospital with Covid-19 and a staff member has been recently discharged, while a ‘significant number of residents and staff’ also tested positive for the virus.

Officers are speaking to staff and have searched the home, while post-mortems have been conducted on three of the deceased residents.

Chief superintendent Dan Evans, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: ‘I’ve no doubt there will be concern in the community regarding this incident.

‘We are doing everything possible to help those bereaved families, while also working with partners to communicate to those with relatives remaining within the home.’

Nursing in Practice has contacted Holmesley Care Home for comment. A spokesperson for the home is quoted on the BBC news website saying the ‘vast majority of our residents and our staff team have received their first dose of vaccine and we hope this may have helped prevent an even worse situation’.

They also said staff had ‘worked incredibly hard’ for nearly 12 months ‘to keep the virus from entering our home’. Agency staff have been brought in to care for the residents who remain at the home while staff self-isolate.

The home can provide accommodation for up to 55 people, according to a 2018 CQC report.

Nursing in Practice published an in-depth look at the coronavirus crisis in care homes in September last year.