'Every number is a lost life' - Worst Covid affected care homes in Cambs

Primrose Hill Care Home in Huntingdon had the most care home deaths from Covid in Cambridgeshire, a CQC report revealed.

Primrose Hill Care Home in Huntingdon had the most care home deaths from Covid in Cambridgeshire, a CQC report revealed. - Credit: Google Earth

More than 360 care home residents across Cambridgeshire have tragically died due to Covid-19 in less than a year, new figures reveal.  

The data, released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the first time, shows the number of deaths at individual care homes across England.  

The health watchdog said the deaths did not indicate poor quality care and variable factors including local community transmission, size of care home and the age and health needs of residents were all factors.  

The report showed 362 care home residents died in Cambridgeshire between April 10 2020 and March 31 this year.   

At the top of the list was Primrose Hill Care Home in Huntingdon with 20 deaths, followed by The Gables in Eastrea, Whittlesey, with 19 deaths and Aria Court in March with 17 deaths.  

The Gables in Eastrea, Whittlesey, saw 19 deaths during the pandemic..

The Gables in Eastrea, Whittlesey, was rated second highest in the CQC's Covid care home deaths report. - Credit: Google Earth

All homes had a CQC rating of 'good' meaning that the homes are performing well and meeting expectations under inspection criteria. 

Primrose Hill has 60 beds, The Gables, in Eastrea, has 55 beds and Aria Court in March has 92 beds. 

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The data shows the true cost of how the virus spread across the county, impacting care home staff, residents and families who are now left to grieve for loved ones.  

"Every number represents a life lost," said Kate Terroni, CQC chief inspector for adult social care.  

Aria Court Care Home in March had 17 Covid deaths, a CQC report revealed.

Aria Court Care Home in March had 17 Covid deaths, a CQC report revealed. - Credit: Google Earth

Abbey Healthcare, who run Primose Hill Care Home, said that “every death was a personal tragedy for the families involved and the teams who cared for them”. 

“There has been no indication from any of our stakeholders that the number of deaths in any way reflects negatively on the quality of care provided in the home, and we remain confident that this is the case,” a spokesperson added. 

Homes among the most affected also included Glennfield in Wisbech with 15 deaths and Hunters Down in Huntingdon with 14 deaths.  

Glennfield Care Home in Wisbech at 15 Covid deaths, a CQC report revealed.

Glennfield Care Home in Wisbech at 15 Covid deaths, a CQC report revealed. - Credit: Google Earth

Those at the bottom of the list for Cambridgeshire with only one care home death recorded included Soham Lodge, Rheola Care Home in St Ives and Askham Place in Doddington. 

A spokesperson for The Gables Care Home, in Whittlesey, that recorded the second highest Covid death rate said that every death was "deeply felt by colleagues". 

"Residents and their families become part of our extended family over the time they live with us and our thoughts and sympathies are with all families who have lost a loved one from coronavirus," a HC One spokesperson said.  

“Throughout the pandemic we have worked tirelessly to protect our residents and colleagues.  

Hunters Down Care Home in Huntingdon had 14 Covid deaths, a CQC report revealed.

Hunters Down Care Home in Huntingdon had 14 Covid deaths, a CQC report revealed. - Credit: Google Earth

“Despite these measures, sadly our outbreak took place at a time when community transmission rates were high and before the introduction of the more regular testing programme or vaccine programme, both of which have become the best defences we have. 

"As we move forward, we continue to be exceptionally vigilant, especially as lockdown measures continue to ease." 

The figures in the report included people who were admitted to hospital from a care home with Covid and subsequently died in hospital. 

Athena Care Homes, that run Aria Court in March, said they “remain proud of the tireless dedication shown by all staff and the commendable efforts made to contain viral transmission within the homes”.  

A spokesperson added: “We remain committed to a process of transparent engagement and continue to work with our residents, their families and our staff in adhering to robust infection prevention and control practices whilst supporting the well-being of all people who live, work and visit our homes.”  

CQC’s Ms Terroni added: "As we publish this data, we ask for consideration and respect to be shown to people living in care homes, to families who have been affected, and to the staff who have done everything they could, in incredibly difficult circumstances, to look after those in their care."   

Overall, more than 39,000 care home residents in England died with the virus during the 11-month period.  

The Hunts Post has contacted the care provider of Hunters Down and Glennfield for a comment. 

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