A SOCIAL care leader has called the deaths at a North Wales care home tragic and says it is a cruel reminder of how dangerous coronavirus is.

There have been 15 deaths, as well as 56 positive cases, linked to coronavirus at Llangollen Fechan Care Home in the past three weeks.

During the same perioud, 33 staff members have also tested positive for the virus.

Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “We would like to extend our condolences to the families of those who have passed away.

“It is a deeply worrying time for everybody concerned and our thoughts are with the residents and staff who have also been affected by the virus.

“This tragic case is a stark and cruel reminder how virulent and dangerous the Covid-19 is.

“Care Forum Wales has recently launched a renewed campaign to shield social care and save lives this winter."

The Leader:

Mario Kreft

“The key message is how vulnerable the residents of care homes are and how everyone has to work to ensure that these people are protected.

“There are more than 20,000 care home beds Wales compared to 12,000 beds in our hospitals so social care plays an absolutely vital role in supporting the NHS, now more so than ever.

“Right at the outset of the pandemic, Care Forum Wales was ahead of the curve in calling for an efficient and effective testing regime and, while things have improved, we are not there yet.

“If we don’t protect the vulnerable people for whom we provide care and our staff many more people will die as a result.

"We cannot and must not let that happen.”

The Leader:

Llangollen Fechan Care Home

The figures have come from the Incident Management Team (IMT), comprising of Denbighshire County Council, Public Health Wales and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board who have been investigating cases at Llangollen Fechan.

Co-chair of the IMT, Nicola Stubbins, said: “We have been working together to investigate a number of cases of Coronavirus in staff and residents at Llangollen Fechan Care Home in Llangollen.

“Over the last three weeks there have sadly been 56 positive cases and 15 deaths with coronavirus amongst residents. In addition 33 staff members have been tested positive for the virus over the same period.

“We would like to assure all concerned that control measures have been put in place working jointly with the care home, including limiting the movement of staff and residents to reduce transmission."

Meanwhile, Andrew RT Davies MS, the Shadow Minister for Health, has called for an investigation by the Welsh Government.

Mr Davies said: “This is horrendous, and my sympathies and condolences go to the families who have tragically lost a loved one in this Llangollen care home.

“This raises serious questions over testing and infection control in one of the most vulnerable settings in society, and at this stage of the pandemic given the knowledge we have acquired on transmission, is deeply concerning.

“Labour's health minister must initiate an urgent investigation into such outbreaks and direct testing and financial resources at protecting the most vulnerable in society.”

Commenting on the news of 15 deaths in Llangollen Fechan Care Home in Llangollen,

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS, added: "This is deeply distressing news for the families and carers involved and my sympathy goes out to all affected.

"While every effort is being made to limit and control this deadly virus, sadly there are outbreaks like this and I'm sure this particular care home is not the only one facing these challenges.

"With that in mind, I've contacted the interim chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr health board to ask about the extent of care home and hospital outbreaks across the North and what actions are being taken to ensure that rigorous infection control is in place to protect our most vulnerable citizens."