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Coronavirus Outbreaks Recorded In Care Homes Across Hampshire

By Maria Zaccaro , Local Democracy Reporting Service in News on October 14, 2020

CORONAVIRUS outbreaks have been recorded in care homes across Hampshire but further details have not been revealed.

County bosses said they are “carefully” monitoring care homes across the county as they are seeing “sporadic outbreaks”.

However, further details including the names of the facilities affected, the number of cases recorded and whether any of those care homes had to close, were not revealed.

The news comes as in a public meeting held earlier this month, Simon Bryant, the director of public health at Hampshire County Council, told councillors that there is a general increase in cases.

He added: “We are carefully monitoring care homes and we are getting sporadic outbreaks in care [homes] not to the extent we had earlier on.”

After the meeting, the authority said it continues to follow the guidance from Public Health England and to support independent care homes.

But when asked it did not disclose further details.

In a statement it said: “The county council is not publishing details of cases within its own individual homes as in our view this causes unnecessary upset for the families and loved ones of those we look after, and is not indicative of the quality of care provided, or the infection control measures in place in our homes.  Families and carers are kept well informed on all matters material to the care of their loved ones – and this will include general information on COVID positive cases.”

The authority said details of outbreaks are also reported to Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission as well as being recorded via the NHS Tracker.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst,  executive member for adult social care and health at the county council, said: “During the first wave of the pandemic we did not publish the number of cases within our individual homes or across the wider care home sector – and this will continue to be our approach going forward. We, and our sector partners, are committed to keeping the families and loved ones of our residents well informed about cases where relevant, and to ensure the right information and support is provided.”

Councillor Fairhurst said the authority continues to follow  “the same stringent procedures” followed since the start of the pandemic.

“Both residents and staff are being regularly tested as per the guidelines and the very small number of recent positive cases we have had, have been, and will continue to be supported to isolate as required,” Councillor Fairhurst added.

The county council said that the measures implemented include PPE, providing advice on issues such as staffing practice or how to isolate people safely, as well as practical help such as the delivery of infection control training.

The authority runs 17 care homes across Hampshire.

The news comes as the county will be placed in the Tier One – medium alert- Covid-19 category from today.

 

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