Police in Devon arrest two care home staff for 'wilful neglect' after Covid outbreak


Police in Devon arrest two care home staff for ‘wilful neglect’ after Covid outbreak where they worked left nine residents dead

  • Nine deaths have been reported at Holmesley Care Home in Sidford since Feb 25
  • A woman, 57,  and a man, 30,  have been arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect 
  •  Both of those arrested are said to be members of staff at the care home 

Police have arrested two members of staff at a South Devon care home in connection with a Covid-19 outbreak that is believed to have caused multiple deaths.

Nine deaths have been reported at Holmesley Care Home in Sidford since February 25, which are all believed to be coronavirus-related.

A 57-year-old woman from Sidmouth and a 30-year-old man from Exeter have been arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, according to Devon & Cornwall Police.

Both are said to be members of staff at the care home.

No other arrests are currently planned by police in relation to the ongoing enquiry, the force said.

The investigation is being led by the force in partnership with a multi-agency safeguarding response.

Chief Superintendent Dan Evans has previously said: ‘I’ve no doubt there will be concern in the community regarding this incident and we are doing everything possible to help those bereaved families, while also working with partners to communicate to those with relatives remaining within the home.

Nine deaths have been reported at Holmesley Care Home in Sidford since February 25, which are all believed to be coronavirus-related

Nine deaths have been reported at Holmesley Care Home in Sidford since February 25, which are all believed to be coronavirus-related

A 57-year-old woman from Sidmouth and a 30-year-old man from Exeter have been arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, according to Devon & Cornwall Police

A 57-year-old woman from Sidmouth and a 30-year-old man from Exeter have been arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, according to Devon & Cornwall Police

‘This is a complex investigation involving ourselves and multi-agency partners with safeguarding of residents at its core.

‘There is significant work under way to understand the current situation and progress the investigation as quickly as possible, while maintaining the safety of care home residents, staff, police officers and partner agency staff.’

The force said a ‘significant number’ of residents and staff had tested positive for Covid-19, with the five deaths having taken place since March 6.

All of the deceased residents tested positive for Covid-19.

Ten other residents have been treated at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, while one member of staff has been in hospital with coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Holmesley Care Home has previously commented: ‘I can confirm that we are currently dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus in the home and that sadly, five residents have passed away from the virus.

‘They will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with their loved ones at this challenging time.

‘The vast majority of our residents and our staff team have received their first dose of the vaccine and we hope this may have helped prevent an even worse situation.’

The spokesperson went on to say the care home is ‘devastated’ by the outbreak.

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