Nursing home denied protective equipment after suspected outbreak of coronavirus

A nursing home has been struggling through a suspected outbreak of coronavirus so badly that conditions inside are now described as "a warzone".

Staff have been desperately pleading for 11 days for help, as they say that more than three quarters of the residents are showing symptoms.

Oaklands Nursing Home, in Hove, homes residents all over the age of 65.

The outbreak started 11 days ago, but despite begging, the home has been unable to source the proper protective equipment.

Despite the best efforts from managers, residents and staff developed symptoms, including a high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.

So far there are allegedly seven staff and 16 residents fallen ill.

They have come down with symptoms of the virus, which is increasingly fatal to those in older age bracket.

Hove MP Peter Kyle has joined families in pleading for urgent intervention as staff battle to look after sick residents without adequate protection and testing.

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.

“I have just spoken to one of the head nurses and have heard my dad has now gone very, very weak.

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“It is a warzone in there, the situation is critical and staff are diminishing by the day.

“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 assistance they need?

“This is going to happen across the country. The staff are wonderful, the home is wonderful and they have got into this critical stage.”

Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group have pointed to letter from the Department of Health and Social Care.

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It reads: “Free distribution of fluid repellent facemasks from the pandemic flu stock will start today, with every care home and home care provider receiving at least 300 facemasks.

“We anticipate the distribution will be complete by next Tuesday.”

Mr Kyle, Labour MP for the area, said: "I'm so concerned by this situation and have escalated the issue to the highest level for an urgent intervention.

"We simply cannot have staff working when they have symptoms, so the care home needs immediate and decisive help.

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"Families of the residents are rightly anxious and upset so let's get services and protective equipment into this home today.

"The lack of personal, protective equipment for key workers throughout the NHS is something I've raised at government level.

"Delay in supplies to our care homes, hospitals and doctors is outrageous and dangerous.

“I'm calling for mass production of gowns, masks and gloves before our NHS is brought to its knees because of staff illness."

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