A MIDDLESBROUGH care home has today confirmed that 17 of its residents have died since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

The operations manager of Stainton Lodge Care Centre in Hemlington has confirmed that 17 people have died since the outbreak began.

However, only two of the 17 people tested positive for the virus.

The remaining 15 people were unable to get tested before they died, said the home's operation manager Steve Gibson.

The care centre has two homes Stainton Way and Stainton Lodge.

Stainton Way has seen a further two deaths within the last week, whereas the Stainton Lodge care home was where 17 people died - two testing positive for the virus.

Mr Gibson said: "It has been such a difficult time. We have lost a lot of people who we love greatly. We have had two people who have tested positive.

"This all happened at the end of March, early April. Every person saw GPs and decisions were made by medical staff.

"The situation is changing daily. Four weeks ago the policy of James Cook Hospital was only to test on admission. If someone was decided that they weren't going to be admitted, they weren't tested. At that point they were testing on admission.

"Out of the 17 people who have died only two were tested and confirmed as positive."

Currently, the care home is on day 10 of having no new cases.

Mr Gibson said: "Everyone who had the virus 10 days ago is still with us."

Two weeks ago the care home was sent five swabs for both homes. Staff carried out the tests on residents and then awaited results.

Four people were confirmed as positive and one negative. 

Mr Gibson said: "We've still got four people positive."

Now the government has said that all residents and staff in care homes will be tested.

Mr Gibson said: "Both care homes are on lockdown following the same procedures.

"A lot of our residents are unwell anyway, they're on end of life pathway.

"It's been so so difficult."

Mr Gibson said the care centre had never had a problem with PPE, always being supplied with the correct equipment including, masks, hand sanitiser and gloves.

A spokesperson from the CQC said: "CQC is aware of a number of deaths at Stainton Lodge Care Centre in Middlesbrough and we are working with partner agencies to ensure the home and its residents are supported.”

Both the homes have a 'good' rating by the CQC, under the criteria of safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Mr Gibson said: "Both homes have good relations with the local authority. 

"It's just a horrible, horrible thing we're living with. It has been absolutely soul destroying for us.

“We have such wonderful families, their families become part of our families. Our hearts go out to them – all they can say is thank-you to us.

“We’ve had really good support from Middlesbrough Council and the CQC.”