FAMILIES trusting care homes to look after their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic are being let down because they are not told when people have fallen ill, the Wiltshire Times has been told.

A relative of one person who died claims they were not kept informed about their elderly family member’s health. 

The grieving relative, who wants to remain anonymous, said that they rang Wingfield Care Home in Wingfield Road multiple times to check on their relative, but never got an answer. 

They said: “We rang the care home just to see if our relative was all right and were told that someone was going to call back three times, but no-one did. 
“And my relative died that night. 

“Then we were told they had been ill for three days, but no-one informed any family members.”

They also said that when they were notified of the death that the news was delivered abruptly and the person who spoke to them was ‘not very sensitive about the situation’.

A spokesman for Barchester, which owns the 89-bed care home, said: “Out of respect for the privacy for our residents we do not comment on individual cases and where anonymous claims are made we are not able to comment further as it is not possible to verify details and comment accurately. 

“However, we can say that we have a clear process in place for updating the families of our residents with any news in regards to the health of their loved ones. 
“Our staff are all trained in this and provide regular proactive updates on the wellbeing of our residents. 

“Our staff also aim to be as helpful and informative as possible when any updates are requested by family members.
“We can confirm that we have had individuals confirmed with Covid-19 at the home, and very sadly some of those have passed away. 

“Every one of these deaths is a tragedy for all of us, and we send our heartfelt condolences to our residents, their families and our staff that have suffered. 
“We have had staff that have been poorly and would like to reassure families and residents that whilst the home has had staff off ill, it remains fully staffed and has been supported by our regional director.

“The home is in regular contact with Public Health England. 
“We are reporting all Covid-19 information to the relevant authorities, and as you can imagine it is a constantly changing picture.”
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, which takes recorded deaths from April 10 until June 12, 198 people have died in care homes in Wiltshire.
Nationally, over 16,000 people have died in care homes as a result of coronavirus, almost a third of all Covid-19 deaths.