IT has been stressed care homes in Worcestershire are a "high priority" in the vaccine roll out, following the outbreak at a Worcester care home.

We previously reported 15 residents had died at Perry Manor Care Home in recent weeks, while it was confirmed a small number of other residents had died from other causes at the Charles Hastings Way-based care home.

Thirty three members also tested positive for the deadly virus during the course of the outbreak. Staff who tested positive are now well, and have returned to work following a period of self-isolation.

The home has been following stringent infection prevention and control protocols, and was working closely with Worcestershire public health partners to minimise the risk of further infection.

The home's coronavirus outbreak follows the deaths of two residents at Blossom House in Malvern, and the deaths of five residents at St Stephen’s Care Home before Christmas.

Following the outbreaks a spokesperson from NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, which is overseeing the vaccine rollout, said: "Care homes are a high priority for Covid-19 vaccinations and the programme was rolled out across the county in December in accordance with national policy as set out by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)."

On Perry Manor's outbreak Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire, said: Our thoughts and condolences are with the families of those who have passed away.

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"Unfortunately, it is a real reminder to us all that COVID-19 remains in our communities. Outbreak management procedures are being followed, cases are isolating and visiting is restricted to essential visits only.

"Multi-agency support has been provided to the care home since the first positive cases were identified. Staff at the home are working hard to ensure residents are receiving the highest standards of care. They continue to prioritise the health and safety of all the residents and the staff. Care homes remain a key priority for our outbreak control plan in the county.”

Care UK’s Regional Director Dave Ashbolt said: “I would like to send my condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost someone from our home in recent weeks. We are all saddened by the losses and everyone is in our thoughts.

“I would like to pay tribute to the team at the home who have done an incredible job in very difficult circumstances. Thanks to their dedication, this home was free of Covid-19 cases for the first ten months of the pandemic. In recent weeks, many have tested positive and have been self-isolating so colleagues have been working extra shifts and taking on whatever task needs to be done. Not only have they provided top quality, loving care to residents but they have also worked tirelessly to reassure relatives where they can and keep them up to date with news."