'Years to go' in fight for Covid care home answers, grieving daughter says

Sisters Clare and Lisa with dad Dennis Ely Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Sisters Clare and Lisa with dad Dennis Ely - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

The daughter of a man who died in an Ipswich care home at the start of the pandemic says there are still "years to go" in the quest for answers as to what happened, despite Wednesday's high court ruling.

Lisa Hovell's father Dennis Ely was a resident of Asterbury Place care home and died of coronavirus on April 10 2020. He was 82.

Mr Ely was one of more than 150 people to die in Suffolk care homes during the first two months of the pandemic.

In the wake of his death, Mrs Hovell raised questions over whether staff treating her dad wore PPE – and if he caught the virus from people admitted back into his care home from hospital.

Now she says she feels "numb" after two high court judges ruled government policies around discharging hospital patients into care homes were “unlawful”.

She said: "It's a start. Hopefully, someone will be held accountable for what happened.

"I can't quite process it right now. There's a lot to take in and it makes you think back to things that perhaps you didn't think of at the time and start questioning everything again.

"I still think there are years to go before we a lot of questions are answered – I don't think it's going to be anytime soon.

"There are so many obstacles to be overcome that I don't think there will be any proper answers for at least five years."

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Mrs Hovell said she would support a physical memorial to coronavirus victims in Ipswich as she was not able to properly grieve for her father during the pandemic.

She said: "It's still very hard.

"Whoever died of Covid, they didn't have to die of it at the end of the day.

"All I'd like is for this not to be forgotten. We cannot stop fighting to get the answers.

"I'd just like somebody to take a little bit of ownership for what happened. It'd be a small token."