Kettering care home forced to close as at least eleven residents die from suspected Covid-19

The Care Quality Commission has said it has 'serious concerns' about the level of care given by Temple Court during the pandemic crisis

Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 7:59 pm
There have been four confirmed deaths for residents from Covid-19 and another seven are suspected to have had the virus.

A Kettering care hit by a coronavirus outbreak that has killed as many as eleven residents, has been ordered to close its doors.

Residents from Temple Court in Albert Street, Kettering are being moved to other homes in the area after health and local authority bosses are understood to have stepped in after concerns about care levels.

The home’s manager and other senior staff had been off work in recent weeks after contracting the virus and the company has had to use agency staff to keep itself running.

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The Care Quality Commission, which regulates care homes, says it has ‘serious concerns’ about the level of care at the home and could be using some enforcement powers in coming weeks.

Over the past eight weeks, four residents have sadly lost their lives to Covid-19 and another seven have died of suspected Covid. Three other residents have also died of unrelated causes.

Resident, widow Rita Perrin, 87, is currently in Kettering General Hospital’s intensive care unit with coronavirus and her family say she is on end-of-life palliative care.

In a statement today, a spokesperson for Temple Court said: “Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the home was left in an extremely challenging position.

“A large number of staff, including the home manager and senior team, have been absent and we have been disproportionately reliant on the use of agency staff. This – added to sudden influx of residents to support the NHS, some of whom have complex needs – affected the quality of care and governance at the home.

“Our priority is the wellbeing of our residents and giving them the best care possible, and we have worked closely with NENE CCG, the local authority and Care Quality Commission (CQC) to move them to settings that are not as compromised.

“The management team has now largely returned and we hope to be in a position to once again provide the highest standard of care our residents expect very soon.”

The company says the closure is temporary. It is understood that as part of the mass discharge of patients from the county’s two acute hospitals, 14 people were moved into the 30 bed-home during March. It is not known how the initial outbreak began although a media spokeman for the company has suggested there could be a link to the residents taken in from hospital.

Family of the residents are in shock at what has happened as up until a few days ago they had been assured over the phone by staff members that everything was fine and that there had not been any coronavirus cases.

Simon Bennett, whose father Robert, 80, a former scientist from Rothwell, has lived at the home for 18 months, said the first his family knew of the situation was when a letter arrived was sent to his mother yesterday (May 12).

It apologised for the standard of care not being as it should have been and would be working with the adult social services and the health bodies to move residents.

Mr Bennett then had to make a number of calls to try and work out what was happening, eventually getting through to the chief executive of Minster Homes Mahesh Patel, the parent company of Temple Court, who said the care home could no longer operate.

He said: “I just don’t know – we are in shock. We have not seen my dad for six to seven weeks and so we have been relying on the updates from the staff – who have said, yes everything is fine.

“To say they had not had any cases was not right. We all thought the home had been doing an amazing job by not having any cases at the home. If we had not dug around we would have not got any answers. We always worry about my dad, as he has dementia and are obviously even more worried now.”

His father is being moved today to Shire Lodge Nursing home in Corby, although the family were not consulted on the move.

Christine Weatherley’s mother Rita Perrin, 87, has been a Temple Court resident since October and had been admitted to Kettering General Hospital a handful of times in the past few months due to chest problems and pneumonia. She twice tested negative for the virus and was discharged twice to the care home but went back in two weeks ago and has since tested positive for the Covid-19.

She said: “I have had no idea where my mother got it from, I would just be speculating. I have been to visit her in hospital and it was just so distressing. I am waiting for the call now and I just want her to pass.

“I want to sue the Chinese government for robbing me of the opportunity to give my mum the end of life care we had wanted for her. I’m not blaming anybody else, although I do think the country should have gone into lockdown sooner.”

A CQC spokesperson said: “CQC inspectors visited Temple Court, Kettering, after we became aware of issues which could affect people’s safety.

“We are working with the local authority and clinical commissioning group to ensure people using this service receive safe and effective care and treatment.

“Inspectors’ findings and details of any CQC action will be published as soon as possible. All CQC action is open to appeal.”

A spokesperson for NHS Northamptonshire CCG and Northamptonshire County Council:“Following concerns raised about the quality and safety of care provided by Temple Court residential and nursing care home, we have taken swift action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.

“A decision has been taken to move all residents out of the care home into new placements this week. We are keeping residents and families fully informed and involved in the steps being taken.”

At least 66 of the 250 care homes in Northamptonsire have recorded a coronavirus outbreak. Latest figures record 81 Northants residents have lost their lives to the disease.