January 19, 2021 5.19 pm This story is over 40 months old

COVID outbreak at Lincolnshire care home kills two thirds of residents

Two members of staff were treated in hospital

Eighteen residents at a care home near Spilsby died after a six-week coronavirus outbreak, which also led to two staff being treated in hospital.

All 27 residents at The Old Hall at Halton Holegate, which is run by Kesh-Care Limited, tested positive at the same time on November 16, as well as 20 staff.

Sadly, two thirds of the residents died, with most in their 90s, but their ages ranged from 79 to 99, according to The Guardian.

The first death from coronavirus at the care home was on November 18.

Some of the deaths were so sudden that staff did not have the chance to administer end-of-life treatment or arrange for loved ones to say goodbye.

Two members of staff were so ill they had to be taken to hospital and it is understood that one is still off sick. Some staff moved into a caravan nearby to be around to help.

The care home’s manager Diane Vale said:  “The outbreak started on November 16 and lasted around six weeks. All 27 residents tested positive at the same time, as well as 20 out of 28 staff. It was awful, we lost 18 residents altogether.

“I have been a manager for 40 years and have never had to deal with anything like it – it was horrendous.”

She added: “Originally there were no symptoms and the symptoms they tell you to look for, such as a continuous cough or high temperature, there was no indication of that.”

Natalie Liddle, Lincolnshire County Council’s Programme Manager for Infection Prevention & Control in Public Health, said: “The county council was notified in November about an outbreak at The Old Hall care home.

“Our Health Protection Team were supporting the home during this period and we were assured that The Old Hall had taken extraordinary measures to regain control of the outbreak and minimise further transmission within the home.

“We are actively working with all care homes across Lincolnshire that have experienced significant outbreaks to ensure that they are supported.”

The home’s infection control procedures were validated as safe by regulators at the end of November and it was rated overall as ‘Good’ after its latest inspection on November 24 last year.

This comes after it was revealed that East Lindsey was the district of Lincolnshire that recorded one of the highest weekly number of COVID care home deaths in England in December. 52 people died from coronavirus in the district’s care homes in the five weeks to January 3.

Meanwhile, COVID outbreaks in England’s care homes almost tripled in three weeks to January 10, according to data from Public Health England.