More than 500 care home residents died from COVID-19, says council report

Hertfordshire's coronavirus care home deaths have been revealed. Picture: Getty Images

Hertfordshire's coronavirus care home deaths have been revealed. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Archant

More than 500 residents of care homes in Hertfordshire are believed to have died from COVID-19, it has been reported.

The deaths are now being scrutinised by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Herts County Council’s adult care and health cabinet panel was updated on the response of adult care services to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, September 9.

Panel members were told that the deaths of 526 care home residents – either at home or in hospital – were now ‘suspected’ or ‘confirmed’ to be coronavirus related.

It was reported that the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board was now undertaking a ‘review of deaths’, in preparation for a possible ‘second wave’.

“This will give care homes and agencies the opportunity to share their learning from this period and to make recommendations for future plans in preparation for a possible second wave of infection,” said the report to the cabinet panel.

At the meeting it was reported that in the period to August 17, there had been 122 ‘outbreaks’ in care homes or ‘supported living settings’ in the county.

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As of August 4, it was reported 96 of those homes which had had a confirmed outbreak had been clear for 28 days.

According to the report, data on care home deaths – during the period to August 17 – was collated from sources that include the Care Quality Commission and Public Health England, as well as information taken directly from care homes.

Meanwhile Hertfordshire’s Money Advice Unit helped residents to secure £7.5m in extra benefits in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was reported.

The advice unit – which is operated by the county council – has a dedicated team of advisers.

Their work was highlighted to councillors at the meeting of the adult care and health cabinet panel.

It was also reported that from this month the unit will form a 12-month partnership with Citizen’s Advice to reach people with debt and benefit problems who present at Primary Care Networks with health issues.