Figures showing Yorkshire care homes with most Covid-19 deaths released to “bring into stark relief the ravages” of virus

A breakdown of Covid deaths for each care home in North Yorkshire has been published for the first time in new figures which health officials say “bring into stark relief the ravages” of the virus.

Craven Nursing Home in Skipton

The figures – released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – have revealed 18 care homes across the county reported a total of 515 resident deaths during the course of the pandemic which has shown the social care system was not ready to cope with a crisis.

The highest number of deaths in a single North Yorkshire care home was 24, while five homes had more than 20 virus-related deaths between the period of 10 April last year and 31 March.

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“Every death from Covid-19 during the course of this terrible pandemic has been one death too many,” said Richard Webb, director of health and adult services at North Yorkshire County Council.

“The death toll in care homes over the last 20 months, published by the Care Quality Commission, brings into stark relief the ravages of Covid-19 and the price we have paid as a society and that we continue to pay.

“All the families and friends who have lost loved ones to the virus are very much in our hearts and in our thoughts.”

Top 10 worst affected care homes in North Yorkshire

- Craven Nursing Home Limited, Skipton – 24 deaths

- Southlands Care Home, Harrogate – 22 deaths

- Leeming Bar Grange Care Home, Leeming Bar – 22 deaths

- Belmont House Care Home, Harrogate – 22 deaths

- Beechwood Care Home, Northallerton – 21 deaths

- Bilton Hall Nursing Home, Knaresborough – 17 deaths

- Maple Lodge Care Home, Scotton – 17 deaths

- The Terrace, Richmond – 16 deaths

- Scorton Care Village, Scorton – 16 deaths

- Vida Grange, Harrogate – 15 deaths

Care home managers have a duty to inform the CQC when one of their residents dies – and from April last year they also had to say whether Covid was believed to be a factor in the person’s death.

The newly published data is based on these notifications.

The CQC said in its report that it has not found a link between standards of care and the number of deaths – something local health officials have also stressed.

The social care watchdog added that many factors are involved in the numbers, including the levels of Covid in the local community and the age and health of the residents.

During much of the pandemic, many homes were struggling to get the personal protective equipment and official guidance they needed.

Hospital patients being discharged into homes without getting tested was also thought to be a major contributor to the virus spreading quickly.

And although it is now widely available, testing was said to be a “critical” issue at the start of the outbreak with some test kits taking up to 20 days to be delivered to North Yorkshire care homes.

Working throughout these challenging circumstances were social care staff who Mr Webb said should be praised and thanked for their “heroic” efforts.

He said: “Staff have worked heroically to contain the virus as best they could with the knowledge that they have had and the government guidance and protective equipment they received.

“We are grateful to staff in care homes as well as our own authorities who have sacrificed much on the frontline of the pandemic and showed courage and bravery in doing all they could to protect our residents, working tirelessly during such a difficult period.

“We will never know, if we had not taken swift action supported by colleagues in the care sector in those early days, how many more would have died.”