Council confirms fourteen care home residents in Portsmouth have died with Covid-19 symptoms

A total of 14 residents at two local authority-run care homes in Portsmouth have died after showing symptoms of Covid-19.

Portsmouth City Council confirmed that nine residents of nursing care home Harry Sotnick House (pictured) and four at Shearwater, a residential home, have died.

A local authority spokesman said: “The council is strictly following Government and Public Health England infection control guidance in its care and nursing homes, and is working with the NHS to ensure residents have the best possible care.

“Families have been informed and have been offered support.

“The Government updated its position late yesterday (April 15) around the role of care homes in the coronavirus response. We are reviewing the new guidance now and will make any changes to our approach if any are necessary.”

Cllr Matthew Winnington, cabinet member for health, wellbeing and social care, said: “This is terribly sad news. Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have passed away, and with staff members who knew and cared for them.

“We are working with Public Health England specialists. We have shared our plans with them, and they have endorsed the approach we are taking, this includes how we are using PPE, increasing cleaning and isolating residents.

“At this time the NHS needs as many hospital beds to be available as possible so we are not in a position to refuse to take people into our homes.

“We have been taking extra precautions with any residents coming into homes and putting them in isolation for 14 days to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

“Some of what we’re doing goes beyond the Government guidance, and we are keeping families fully informed.”

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