MORE than double the number of care and nursing home residents died in Carmarthenshire during a recent 30-day period than last year, the county council’s social services director has said.

Jake Morgans said 47 such residents passed away in the 30 days leading up to May 15, compared to 22 in 2019.

The early analysis, he said, indicated these extra deaths were coronavirus-related and that the picture looked broadly similar to that of south and south-east Wales.

His report from May 16 was briefly discussed in a remote executive board meeting on June 1.

“At the time of writing we have 11 residential care and nursing homes in the public and private sector who have symptomatic residents or confirmed cases of Covid-19,” said the report.

Mr Morgans said testing and the supply of personal protective equipment for care and nursing homes had increased, and that infection control measures had also been enhanced.

Substantial financial support had also been provided to the sector – plus a revision in admission criteria, meaning no patients could go into a care and nursing home without a negative Covid-19 test result.

The report said a small number of care and nursing homes were under “significant” financial pressure, adding: “Determination of further funding from Welsh Government to support the sector beyond May will be essential to avoid a significant collapse of care homes across the county.”

The council has also taken steps to help the domiciliary care sector – increasing pay rates temporarily by a pound an hour for commissioned services, and introducing fast-track recruitment and training, among others.

A total of 15 new carers have been appointed.

Mr Morgans said there didn’t seem to have been excess deaths among those receiving domiciliary care.

He thanked all care staff for their efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, executive board member for social care and health, said the council had to remain vigilant to avoid a second spike in cases.

She said some of the lockdown easing under way in England “flies in the face their scientific advice”.

Deputy council leader Mair Stephens welcomed the 15 new carers.

“Thanks to them for joining a very good and dedicated staff who have adapted brilliantly during this period,” she said.

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