Nottingham

Coronavirus: Nine die at Nottinghamshire care home

Wren Hall care home Image copyright Google
Image caption The residents who died at the care home in Selston all displayed coronavirus symptoms

A care home manager has said she is "heartbroken" after nine residents died from suspected coronavirus.

Anita Astle, from Wren Hall Nursing Home in Selston, Nottinghamshire, said 16 other residents had shown symptoms.

She said residents were "deteriorating very rapidly" from suspected Covid-19, and getting masks for staff was a struggle.

It comes after Age UK said current figures on coronavirus deaths "are airbrushing older people".

Ms Astle said: "It's soul destroying, staff are heartbroken, it's awful to watch people deteriorate, and people are deteriorating very rapidly.

"It's just horrendous."

The manager of the 41-bed dementia care home said she had spent nearly £9,000 on personal protective equipment (PPE) that only lasted 10 days, and said getting a steady supply of PPE was a struggle.

She said the national disruption service, which should be used to obtain PPE, was "wholly inadequate" and "unscrupulous suppliers" were charging nearly 10 times the normal amount for equipment, like masks.

"We've got 16 people in the home that are symptomatic and only one of those has been transferred to hospital," she added.

Image copyright Kimberley Edwards
Image caption Kimberley Edwards (left) with Tony Rutherford and his great-granddaughter Sophie

Kimberley Edwards' grandfather Tony Rutherford has been at the care home for six years.

The 85-year-old has been isolating for 10 days after getting a raised temperature, but his condition appears to be improving.

She said: "The home has been fantastic. It's awful what's happening, as I know how hard they're all working.

"It's awful [for families who are] not able to say goodbye, you can't describe it."

The government has been criticised for not including people who have died from the virus in their own homes, or in a care setting, in the daily official death tolls.

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed 2,099 care homes in England have so far had cases of the virus.

Those figures prompted the charity Age UK to claim coronavirus was "running wild" in care homes for elderly people.

"The current figures are airbrushing older people out like they don't matter," its director Caroline Abrahams.

Across England, 13 people have died with coronavirus symptoms in a care home in County Durham, 15 residents have died at a care home in Luton and a number of residents also died at a care provider in Bristol.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Sir David Behan, who sits on the board of care provider HC-One, said 311 residents had died from confirmed or suspected coronavirus across its network of 329 care homes.

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