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Revealed – More than 70% of Ipswich care homes hit by coronavirus outbreak

PUBLISHED: 16:30 15 May 2020

70% of Ipswich care homes have reported coronavirus outbreaks (stock image) Picture: JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

70% of Ipswich care homes have reported coronavirus outbreaks (stock image) Picture: JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

Two thirds of care homes in Ipswich have reported a suspected or confirmed outbreak of Covid-19 since the beginning of March, figures reveal.

The data released by Public Health England (PHE) shows the number and percentage of care homes across England which have reported coronavirus cases since March 9 – with Ipswich recording the eighth highest number in the whole of England.

Four local authorities in London, along with West Oxfordshire, Waverley and Harlow all recorded higher numbers of outbreaks in their respective homes, with 100% of care facilities in Hammersmith and Fulham and Camden being affected.

The figures, which are updated on a weekly basis, show that 17 care homes out of the total 24 in Ipswich have experienced issues surrounding coronavirus.

More: Eight deaths linked to virus at Ipswich care homes

Meanwhile, in Mid Suffolk, 60% of care homes have reported an outbreak, compared to the 47.5% in East Suffolk, and 38.9% in the west of the county.

Babergh proves to be least affected with less than 29% of its 28 homes affected.

Over the border in Essex, the number of outbreaks were lower - with Braintree reporting outbreaks at 30.8% of homes, Tendring 25% and Colchester 24%.

These figures come after David Finch, chairman of the Suffolk Association of Independent Care Providers, claimed the coronavirus death toll in Suffolk could be up to 20% higher than reported due to deaths at care homes.

Recent figures provided by the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) showed that, between April 4 and May 1, there were 91 deaths in care homes in Suffolk which were related to Covid-19.

That is 37% of the total number of deaths at care facilities during this period.

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During the same period, 123 coronavirus related deaths were recorded in care homes in Essex and 49 confirmed in Norfolk.

More: Third of all care home deaths in Suffolk related to Covid-19 in last month

Kate Terroni, CQC’s Chief inspector of Adult Social Care said that “every death in the figures represents an individual tragedy for those who have lost a loved one - and for those who cared for them”.

She said: “We will continue to support care home managers as they do everything they can to keep people safe, but it is clear that more support is needed, from every part of the system, as social care staff go to extraordinary lengths to protect those in their care.”

Rebecca Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for adult care, previously said staff at homes were working hard in “upsetting times”.

She added: “I want to reassure people that care providers are doing everything that they can to reduce the spread of infection where this arises, and they are continuing to care for their residents with kindness and professionalism.”

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