Fears over more Covid-19 deaths in care homes as 16 new fatalities are recorded in Northamptonshire hospitals

Official county toll now stands at 70 but dementia charity chief warns of crisis in community care

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 10th April 2020, 7:37 am
Updated Friday, 10th April 2020, 7:38 am

Fears are growing of a surge in Covid-19 deaths in Northamptonshire's care homes.

NHS England yesterday revealed the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities has reached 70 in the county's two acute hospitals, as at 5pm on Wednesday April 8.

That is a rise of 16 on the previous day, four at Northampton General Hospital and 12 at Kettering General — five of them in a single day last Sunday (April 5).

But official numbers only include deaths of those in hospital, not any of around 250 care homes in the county.

Brockfield House Nursing Home in Stanwick confirmed yesterday that four of their residents had recently died after testing positive for Covid-19. That followed reports of 15 deaths in one residential care home in Luton and 16 in another in Glasgow.

Alzheimer's Society chief operating officer Kathryn Smith said: "Every day our Dementia Connect support line hears from people, friends and families terrified about the impact of coronavirus.

"People with dementia are being abandoned. They’re being told they won’t be admitted to hospitals, they’re being asked to sign do not resuscitate orders and being discharged from hospitals to care homes without being tested.

Four residents of Brookfield House Nursing Home have died after testing positive for Covid-19

"Care home staff are struggling to cope and urgently need more support and protection.

"Thousands of lives are at risk but deaths from coronavirus in care homes are not even being measured."

Just 11 more cases of Covid-19 were reported in Northamptonshire's hospitals in 24 hours up to 9am yesterday (Thursday April 9), the smallest daily rise since March 26.

Nationally there were 65,077 known cases, a rise of 4,344, with 7,978 deaths — up 881 — according to the NHS.

At yesterday's Government briefing into the Covid-19 crisis, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: "The measures that everybody has taken, the difficult things that we've all had to do, are making a big difference,

"The social distancing we're doing is breaking transmission, it's stopping the hospital admissions, still unbelievably busy but beginning to see that flatten off, it's preventing more people going into intensive care and it will prevent deaths.

"In general I'd expect the deaths to continue to keep going up for about two weeks after the intensive care picture improves and so we're not there yet in terms of knowing exactly when that will be."