More than half of all Southwark care home coronavirus deaths occurred at Bermondsey home, report finds

Josh Salisbury (01 September, 2020)

34 people sadly lost their lives to Covid at Tower Bridge Care Home as of July 15

38641Image: Tower Bridge Care Home

More than half of the deaths from coronavirus in Southwark care homes took place in one Bermondsey home, according to a new report.

As of July 15, sixty people had sadly lost their lives to Covid-19 in a Southwark care home. Thirty-four of these were at Tower Bridge Care Home, on Aberdour Street.

The News had revealed in March that the home had gone into a ‘lockdown’ after multiple sources confirmed an outbreak of seven coronavirus cases.

However, this is the first time the number of deaths at specific homes have been revealed. 

The report, presented to Southwark’s Cabinet next week, also shows that twelve people died at Queen’s Oak Care Home in Peckham, seven at Rotherhithe’s Rose Court, six at Peckham’s Greenhive House, and one at Peckham’s Riverside home.

The report, an overview of care quality in Southwark homes, also states that providers faced difficulties with PPE.

Unions had also raised fears that the provision of protective gear was driven by finances, not by best practice.

“PPE provision for staff has been challenging, but requirements are being met through local collaboration. Testing for homes is being rolled out, prioritised by need,” states the report.

“Central government assumed homes could house patients leaving hospital, however residential and nursing homes are not there for this purpose.

“Unison told us that at the start of the pandemic there was not always sufficient PPE for staff to work safely, however the situation has improved. 

“The national PPE guidelines kept changing and manager’s guidance to frontline workers [was] not always clear.”

Rose Court care home in Rotherhithe Image: Anchor Care Homes

The report made a series of recommendations to the council, including to prepare for a second wave in care homes, and to roll out ‘key worker’ status to friends and family of those in care homes, to make sure they are not isolated during the pandemic.

The News has previously reported on the heart-rending loss felt by families whose relatives have died of coronavirus in care homes.

Among those who have sadly passed away from Covid are 86-year-old Ruth Howes, who had been living in Rotherhithe’s Rose Court prior to her death in March.

Family members remembered Ruth as “so kind, she would give you her last penny if she could.”

They added that while family did not blame the care home for the death of the former Setchell Estate resident, they were concerned about hygiene in care homes across the borough.

SOUTHWARK CARE HOME DEATHS:
  • Greenhive – 6
  • Queens Oak Care – 12
  • Rose Court – 7
  • Tower Bridge Care Centre – 34
  • Waterside – 1
    Total: 60

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