RESIDENTS of a North Lanarkshire care home have sadly died after a coronavirus outbreak. 

An unspecified number of residents have died in a coronavirus outbreak at a third care home operated by HC-One, the firm has said.

The company told the PA news agency that 20 residents at Hatton Lea Care Home in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, have tested positive for the virus.

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HC-One said due to privacy reasons it is unable to confirm how many residents have died from suspected or confirmed Covid-19.

It added the outbreak is confined to one of the five separate buildings at the home, where 11 members of staff have also tested positive and are all self-isolating.

A spokeswoman for the home said: "Our thoughts and sympathies are with all families who have lost a loved one from coronavirus and we are doing our utmost to support them during this difficult time.

"Our senior team are supporting local colleagues so that we can help as many residents as possible to return to good health and we are working closely with Public Health to respond to the outbreak and facilitate testing at the home which is continuing.

"The home continues to be well supplied with the medical equipment and PPE needed to protect residents and colleagues.

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"The coronavirus outbreak at the home is currently contained to one of the five separate buildings at Hatton Lea - we are taking all necessary precautions to minimise the risk of transmission to other colleagues and residents."

She added: "We are in regular contact with the next of kin of our residents, and we are grateful for their ongoing support and understanding.

"We are also proud of our colleagues and how they have shown huge dedication and commitment to our residents."

PA understands the outbreak began on October 15 and by five days later 18 of the 29 residents in the unit had tested positive.

Several residents were subsequently admitted to hospital.

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour health spokeswoman, said: "The outbreak at Hatton Lea is extremely worrying and my thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have tragically died.

"It's vital that the care home is given support to maintain safe staffing levels and that residents get the healthcare they need. Strong local partnership working is more important than ever.

"The horrors experienced during the early months of the pandemic, including at other HC-One care homes, must not be repeated.

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"The well-being and safety of residents and staff is paramount, and I welcome HC-One's proactive communication with local politicians.
"The growth of Covid-19 cases in Lanarkshire and the risk this poses to care home residents remains a huge concern."

It comes after an inspection was held at HC-One's Redmill Care Home in East Whitburn, West Lothian, after the deaths of 15 people in another outbreak.

Solicitors representing the families of residents who died at Home Farm Care Home in Skye, formerly run by HC-One, have urged the company to be more transparent in its handling of outbreaks.

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A total of 10 deaths were recorded at the Skye home, which was bought by NHS Highland in a move financed by the Scottish Government.

Pamela Rodgers, associate at PBW Law, which is representing multiple families of Home Farm residents, described the Redmill outbreak as "history repeating itself".