Care homes in the borough of Croydon, which has the largest number of such facilities in London, had seen 127 Covid-19 related deaths as of 4 May, according to figures compiled by Public Health England (PHE).
The information is included in a report by Croydon Council officers for a meeting of the council’s cabinet next Monday. The report also says that the 123 care homes of various kinds in the borough, where over 1,500 people live, are “responding well” to the pressures they are under but that “over a quarter” of them have reported cases of Covid-19, with the largest impact in nursing homes, where “many residents have sadly passed away”.
Sixty-three of the care homes in Croydon support older people, with the remainder looking after other vulnerable groups. A senior Croydon councillor warned at the beginning of April that care homes in the borough and the sector in general were a coronavirus “ticking time bomb“, due to a failure to recognise or record the impact of the pandemic on their residents.
Croydon Council has implemented a response plan for care homes, which including managing the return of residents from hospital visits to reduce the spread of infection and monitoring workforce levels an a daily basis, where staff absences are, the report says, “at around 30 per cent”.
Care home deaths caused by the virus were only recently included in official national figures, but Croydon has been compiling its own figures from an earlier stage with care homes’ help. These have been been very similar to those since retrospectively gathered by PHE. Not all the deceased have been tested for the presence of the virus, but their deaths have followed the appearance of Covid-19 symptoms.
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