Breaking news: Two arrested after deadly care home outbreak

Police have confirmed that two members of staff at a Sidmouth care home have been arrested following a major Covid-19 outbreak resulting in the deaths of nine residents.

Anita Merritt www.devonlive.com 

A 57-year-old woman from Sidmouth and a 30-year-old man from Exeter have been arrested under suspicion of wilful neglect at Holmesley Care Home.

There have been nine deaths at the home since February 25, which are all believed to be related to the outbreak.

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

The investigation is currently being led by Devon and Cornwall Police in partnership with a multi-agency safeguarding response in order to maintain safeguarding of those residents in the home.

As part of the police investigation, officers have been speaking to staff and conducted a search of the home.

Police previously confirmed the investigation was focusing on infection control and management within the home. It has not been related in any way to the vaccination of residents.

An inspection was carried out at the care home last month after concerns were raised with health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The outcome of its inspection is yet to be published.

Residents and staff had already received their first vaccination, and were reportedly due their second vaccination this weekend. It is the first Covid outbreak at the home.

The care home had 42 residents living there in September 2020, when it was inspected by the CQC. It received a focused but not full inspection, and was rated good for being safe and well-led.

It was the first inspection of the service since it was newly registered in August 2019. People living in the home, staff and most relatives praised the provider and management team for the improvements they had made.