Bispham care home refused to tell families Covid-19 infection numbers after outbreak at centre

Bispham Gardens care homeBispham Gardens care home
Bispham Gardens care home
A Bispham care home has come under fire for refusing to tell families of vulnerable residents how many people tested positive for coronavirus following an outbreak at the facility.

Bispham Gardens staff allegedly refused to disclose how many people had been infected and whether anyone had died from the virus.

Following inquiries, The Gazette can now confirm that there is currently one member of staff self-isolating, and no residents infected at the home on Ryscar Way.

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A spokesman for the home said: “We followed, and continue to follow, all infection control precautions."

Trish O’Brien, whose 85-year-old father lives at Bispham Gardens, said she received an email at the start of the month telling her that someone at the home had tested positive for coronavirus. But despite repeated pleas, she says they would not give her any more details.

She said: “I have never asked for names, only numbers so I can gauge whether the situation is getting worse or getting better. But when you don’t know, you start thinking the worst.

“My dad spent his 85th birthday alone. Now he’s at risk of coronavirus and I’m left wondering if he’s going to have an 86th. I’m wondering if I will ever see him again.”

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Penny Howard, operations manager at Glenholme Healthcare Group, said: “All the relatives of somebody who did test positive were spoken to. The manager sent an email out to the families of all residents who had tested negative. We didn’t give the numbers of people involved because it’s an ever-changing situation.”

She said she did not think the families of residents who tested negative needed to be given such information as it will not benefit them.

She said: “It doesn’t affect (Ms O’Brien) and her father isn’t involved.

“We took the view that as long as we were being open and transparent that we had the infection, we were dealing with it and it was being managed properly, then that was it.”

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After being informed of the current numbers by The Gazette, Ms O’Brien said: “I would still like to know how many positive cases they had, and I think they are wrong for not giving me that information, but I’ll just have to accept it if that’s all they are going to tell us.”


"We can confirm that Bispham Gardens Care Home has had some residents and staff who have tested positive for Covid-19. Currently there are no residents who are positive and only one member of staff who is isolating.

"Please be assured that we followed, and continue to follow, all infection control precautions. The home has had inspections by both Public Health and the Care Quality Commission, and found to be taking all necessary precautions. People are isolating for the recommended time and are cared for by the same staff. We have received excellent support from Public Health, the Local Authority and the CQC.

It would be inappropriate for us to comment on individual cases."


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Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool Council's director of public health, said: "The safety of residents and staff in our care homes is an absolute priority. As such, all staff and residents in all care homes are tested regularly. All positive tests are acted on by the care homes with advice and support from the council and NHS to protect all those who work, live in or visit those care homes.

“This testing programme cannot distinguish between infections taken into the home from the community or acquired in the home itself. We do not therefore give details on individual premises.

“We continue to monitor the situation in all care homes extremely closely to ensure that all appropriate protocols are being followed.”


The CQC carried out an inspection at Bispham Gardens on November 2 after several people there tested positive for Covid-19.

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They said: "Visiting at Bispham Gardens was restricted. Visitors were required to follow best practice guidance and wear appropriate PPE. Their visiting policy and restrictions had been discussed with people, their families and friends.

"People who had returned from hospital were risk assessed and their immediate care and support followed government guidance. This included people having to isolate in their bedrooms.

"Testing for Covid-19 for people and staff had occurred and was ongoing on a regular basis. The registered manager had ensured people who had tested positive were quarantined and cared for in their bedrooms.

"We observed prominent signage to guide staff on the use of protective personal equipment. Processes were in place for staff to put on, take off and dispose of PPE when entering and leaving higher risk environments. Additional PPE measures were in place when supporting people who had tested positive for Covid-19. We observed staff wearing PPE appropriately.

"Staff said the registered manager was very aware of what precautions needed to be in place and they felt lucky to be supported by their registered manager

"The home looked clean and hygienic."

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