MORE than 300 residents have died of suspected coronavirus at one of the UK's largest care home companies, one of its bosses said today.
Sir David Behan, executive chairman of HC One, says 232 – or around two thirds – of the firm's homes have Covid-19 outbreaks, with 2,447 confirmed or suspected cases.
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Yesterday, Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific adviser, said 13 per cent of care homes across Britain had been struck by the deadly virus so far.
Some 311 residents and one member of staff are thought to have died from the disease at HC One homes, with care workers feeling "helpless", Sir David said.
Sir David, former chief executive of medical watchdog the Care Quality Commission, believes the grim figures are "a more realistic picture" of what is going on in care homes nationally.
Care home deaths aren't included in the government's daily number of fatalities, with fears the number of those killed is much higher.
It comes an ex minister warned care home residents have been "abandoned like lambs to the slaughter".
TWO THIRDS OF HOMES HIT
Sir David told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We've been monitoring these numbers since the beginning of the outbreak and as of yesterday evening at 8 o'clock we'd had 2,447 of either suspected or confirmed Covid-19 within our care homes.
"It's present in 232 of our homes which is about two-thirds of the total number of homes that we run.
"And again, as of last night, there have been 311 residents who have died as a result of, or suspected, Covid-19. And indeed sadly over the weekend we've lost one member of staff.
"Covid-19 deaths are representative of about… just under about a third of all deaths that we've had over the past three weeks.
"So this isn't just an issue of deaths from Covid-19 as I've already said, this is a very frail group of older people and we'd normally have a number of deaths taking place throughout the winter months and we're also dealing with that as well."