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Review into coronavirus handling at Hampshire care homes

Nearly 450 died from coronavirus at care homes across Hampshire between 28th February and 12th June
Nearly 450 died from coronavirus at care homes across Hampshire between 28th February and 12th June

A REVIEW is set to be launched into the management of the coronavirus pandemic within Hampshire care homes.

The response of care homes to the Covid-19 crisis and the actions taken over the past months are to be the subject of a review led by county council bosses, writes Maria Zaccaro of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The news comes as official data revealed that between 28th February and 12th June a total of 1,672 people died in care homes across the county.

Of these, 449 had Covid-19 recorded as the cause of death on their death certificate, it has been revealed. The numbers refer to all care home settings in Hampshire, civic chiefs said.

According to a document published by Hampshire County Council, typically over this same period in previous years the council would expect between 30 and 50 deaths per week across the 13,000 care home beds in Hampshire.

The authority is now undertaking two specific internal “lessons learned” pieces of work to review the management of the pandemic within its residential and nursing homes. The findings are set to be scrutinised by councillors.

A council report said: “It is important to evaluate a timeline of key episodes, communications, actions taken when and by whom and to understand how outbreak information was handled and responded to in our department.

“There will also be an exploration of what available national guidance was being followed at the various key episodes.

“This work will be done in conjunction with partners but has been commissioned by the director of adults’ health and care.”

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, cabinet member for adult social care and health at the county council, said: “Given the impact and the speed at which Covid-19 has affected care homes across the county of Hampshire it is vitally important that we undertake work with the sector to understand best practice and, where necessary, learn lessons.

“The review is not to disproportionately respond with the benefit of hindsight or to apportion blame on individuals or groups of services. It is not possible to indicate, at this early stage, when the review will be completed.

“It is an intricate piece of work and must be done thoroughly if it is to be meaningful and add value to informing any service changes that may be necessary.”

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