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Covid-19 outbreak in Hove care home prompts calls for urgent support for social care

A SUSPECTED outbreak of Covid-19 in a nursing home in Hove, East Sussex, today has increased pressure on the government to devise a “clear” plan for social care.

More than two-thirds of residents at the Oakland nursing home are showing symptoms of the virus, yet staff claim they have been left to deal with the situation alone.

Nurses have allegedly been forced to cope with the crisis without protective gear or testing.

The outbreak, believed to have started at the home 11 days ago, has resulted in seven staff and 16 out of 20 residents showing symptoms of the virus.

Gisella Casciello-Rogers, whose 94-year-old father Giuseppe Casciello has been sick for over a week in the home, said: “I’m waiting by the phone to hear the inevitable — your father is dead.

“On Friday, one of the nurses was in floods of tears as they have had no help — they rang 111 but no-one answered.

“What can we do? Sit here and watch the residents die because staff are not getting the help they need?”

Labour MP Peter Kyle called for “immediate and decisive help” for the care home in his constituency.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the situation as “shocking,” and demanded the Tories “come forward with a clear and comprehensive plan for social care.”

The news follows widespread concerns over the lack of protective gear for carers and reports that the sector is already at breaking point.

On Sunday the government pledged to give social care workers adequate personal protective gear, but trade union Unite said this came “too little, too late.”

Unite’s national officer Jim Kennedy said: “The social care sector is the fourth emergency service and it is crucial in helping the most vulnerable in society survive the coronavirus crisis.

“With workers reporting they are already at breaking point the government has to intervene to ensure that there is joined-up thinking and those who need care continue to receive it safely.”

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