Folkestone care home struggles to contain coronavirus outbreak after nearly half of residents die

The owner of a care home in Folkestone says he's devastated after nine of the residents died from Covid-19.

Pelham House has struggled to contain an outbreak of coronavirus after a patient returned from hospital. He'd been tested for the virus, but the result hadn't come through before he was discharged.

The NHS has told ITV Meridian it has followed government guidance.

  • Report by ITV Meridian's Tom Savvides:

Before coronanvirus struck, this care home had 20 residents. Now it has just eleven.

In a matter of weeks nine have died after contracting Covid-19.

The owner of Pellham House in Folkestone, Roger Waluube, say's he is devastated.

  • Roger Waluube- Care Home owner

How prepared was the care home when coronavirus broke in the UK?

As soon as the first case started being reported certainly locally we really moved into top gear to make sure we protected out residents the best we could do and for us that began with us saying unfortunately no visitors coming into the care home and moving up level with the PPE our staff were wearing.

Roger Waluube- Care Home owner
A 96 old man was taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford feeling unwell Credit: ITV Meridian

A 96 old man was taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford feeling unwell. He was discharged a few hours later and sent back to Pelham House after being tested for Covid-19.

The care home says the NHS told them of the patient's positive result three days later, by which time the virus spread to others.

In a statement East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust told ITV Meridian:

The patient came to our A&E department from his care home with Coronavirus symptoms. He was tested for Coronavirus and the results confirm that he had the virus before coming to hospital. He did not need admitting to hospital, and the hospital followed government guidance by testing him for Coronavirus before discharging him. Test results take around 48 hours. The national guidance for hospitals and care homes to follow in this situation is that discharged individuals should be isolated in the care home in the same way as a COVID-positive individual would be, pending the test result.

NHS statement

Theresa Hobbs hasn't been able to visit her 81 year old mother or father-in-law for more than two months. Both are residents of Pelham House.

  • Theresa Hobbs- daughter of care home resident

90%

of staff at Pelham House have been off work with Covid-19

Over the past few weeks, a staggering 90% of the staff at Pelham House here have been off work with Covid-19 or have been self-isolating with symptoms, which shows the sheer scale of the coroanvirus crisis faced by some care homes.