MORE than 100 residents have died in care homes across Swindon during the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s care watchdog revealed in newly published figures. 

The Care Quality Commission said it was publishing figures on death notifications it received from named homes for the first time in a bid to be transparent, following earlier requests to share the data.

The organisation said releasing the information earlier in the pandemic could have had a “serious impact on continuity of care” but it is doing so now as risks have changed.
In Swindon, 115 care home residents died with Covid-19 between April 10, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

The highest number of fatalities, 85, were recorded between April 10 and June 30 last year during the early weeks of the pandemic.

Overall, 15 individual care homes in the area reported at least one Covid-19 related death.

Five care homes have recorded 10 or more deaths – Orchid Care Home (15), Fitzwarren House (13), Edgehill Care Home (11), Lansdowne Hill Care Home (11), and Kings Court Care Centre (10).

Park View Nursing Home lost nine residents, The Orchards Residential Home eight, Ridgeway Rise seven, Princess Lodge Care Centre and Rose Cottage Nursing Home lost six residents each while Downs View Care Centre and Wemyss Lodge lost five residents each to the virus. 

Swindon Borough Council's cabinet member for adults and health councillor Brian Ford said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had such a devastating impact on many of our residents in Swindon, particularly residents who receive care and support and those who work in health and social care. Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives.

“The data shows that the majority of deaths in Swindon care homes occurred during the early weeks of the pandemic and as part of a future public enquiry we will consider this data among many other factors.

“It is important to remember that every number represents a life lost, and families and friends who are having to face the sadness and consequences of their death. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the dedication of those who worked to save and comfort lives.

“Our sincere condolences go out to all of those families and colleagues who were and continue to be affected by the pandemic.”

More than 78,500 care home residents died in England between April 10, 2020, and March 31 2021, with around 7,000 care homes registering at least one death related to coronavirus.

Deaths have decreased substantially across the country as a whole as the vaccine continues to be rolled out.

The CQC said infection control inspections were carried out throughout the pandemic and the body praised the efforts of care home staff.

CQC’s chief inspector for adult social care Kate Terroni, called for “consideration and respect” to be shown to care home residents, their families, and staff.

She said: “We are grateful for the time that families who lost their loved ones during the pandemic have spent meeting with us and the personal experiences they have shared.

“These discussions have helped us shape our thinking around the highly sensitive issue of publishing information on the numbers of death notifications involving Covid-19 received from individual care homes.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said the government has done “all it can” to protect vulnerable people in adult social care throughout the pandemic.

“We have provided billions of pounds to support the sector, including on infection and prevention control measures, free PPE, priority vaccinations and additional testing,” she added.