Seven residents die at coronavirus-hit care home

A total of seven residents have died in a coronavirus outbreak at a care home.

Operators HC-One confirmed the number of deaths at Redmill Care Home in East Whitburn, West Lothian.

In addition to those who died, 32 residents have tested positive along with 25 staff members.

NHS Lothian is leading an investigation into this outbreak and another at Milford House care home in Edinburgh.

The health board first confirmed the outbreaks on Tuesday, saying at that point the number of residents to have died across both homes could not be released as it was fewer than five.

At that time, 53 residents and staff had been confirmed to have coronavirus at Redmill Care Home, with 29 at Milford House, not including the patients who died.

NHS Lothian confirmed the deaths at Redmill Care Home on Saturday night, but no update has been given on Milford House.

The health board said the homes were closed to visitors and additional testing of all staff and residents was introduced as soon as the first cases were identified.

An HC-One spokesman said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with all families who have lost a loved one from coronavirus.

“Caring for our residents and supporting our colleagues is at the heart of what we do and we are doing our utmost to support them during this difficult time.

“We have a comprehensive coronavirus contingency plan in place and we are working closely with NHS Lothian and public health to ensure we are doing all we can to support and protect our residents.

“The home has always been well supplied with the medical equipment and PPE needed to protect residents and colleagues alike.”

He said where possible the home has more staff than normal currently and is “engaging daily with the NHS so that residents can access the healthcare they need”.

Dr Richard Othieno, public health consultant, NHS Lothian and chairman of the Incident Management Team, said the health board is working closely with Redmill Care Home, West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnerships and the Care Inspectorate to “provide all the support necessary”.

He added: “Early action to isolate residents and begin enhanced testing has enabled us to identify positive cases before they become symptomatic.

“Even without an outbreak, and without showing any of the classic symptoms of Covid-19, residents in this care home are tested if they appear at all unwell or not their usual selves.

“As in all care homes, staff are routinely tested weekly through the UK national testing portal. This vigilance and the early introduction of enhanced infection control measures gives the best chance of limiting the spread of infection.

“Repeat rounds of testing of residents and staff is continuing and the situation is being monitored very closely.”

He added: “As part of the infection control measures, the home was closed to visitors. We know this is difficult for residents and their relatives, but it is necessary to ensure the outbreaks are brought under control as quickly as possible and we thank relatives for their co-operation and understanding.”