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New coronavirus figures for Forest see care home deaths near hospital levels

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Latest figures reveal a total of 86 coronavirus-related deaths across the New Forest
Latest figures reveal a total of 86 coronavirus-related deaths across the New Forest

THE number of people who have died from Covid-19 in hospital and care homes in the New Forest has nearly reached parity, according to the latest figures.

There has been a total of 86 coronavirus deaths registered in the district this year up to 1st May, revealed numbers published this week by the Office for National Statistics – up from 72 revealed last week.

The data showed 42 deaths have been in hospital, compared with 41 in care homes – an increase of 10. It comes as the government announced £600m to help care homes amid mounting criticism of its efforts against infection in the sector.

In the BCP Council area, which includes Christchurch, 145 people have died this year from Covid-19, up from the total of 111 published last week. Deaths in hospital came to 72 compared with 65 in care homes.

Figures compiled by the care workers union Unison showed that across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 300 people died from Covid-19 in care homes, out of 900 deaths in all settings.

Across England and Wales, a total of 33,408 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered up to 1st May.

Twelve residents of a care home in Ashley have died during the pandemic, with six of them coronavirus-related.

The deaths at Ashley Lodge Care Home in Ashley Lane were confirmed by a spokesperson for operator Bupa. The home’s regional director maintained staff have been stringently following guidance from Public Health England.

The spokesperson said six of the fatalities had tested positive for Covid-19 while the others had shown some symptoms but not been tested. He stressed symptoms may not necessarily be from Covid-19.

“We have been open and transparent with residents, relatives and colleagues about the situation at the home,” he said. “Our thoughts are with their loved ones.”

The spokesperson said the 77-bed facility had sufficient personal protective equipment, including eye protection, and been closed to visitors since 21st March.

Paul Torrance, regional director, said: “The wellbeing of our residents and staff is our priority and we’re taking all the necessary measures to keep people safe.”

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, cabinet member for adult social care and health at Hampshire County Council, said: “The rise in the number of deaths in care homes across Hampshire and in the rest of the country is a huge cause for concern for everyone involved.

“We are going to enormous lengths to support our own homes, as well as the independent sector, wherever we can to prevent any further spread of the virus.”

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