The families of coronavirus victims from Haslingden Hall Care Home featured in a poignant film on care home deaths, broadcast by Channel 4 News last week.

LancsLive first revealed in May that the home was in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak and that nine residents of the Helmshore home had died.

C4 News said 11 residents at the Lancaster Avenue home, which has been free of the virus for several months, had died after testing positive for Covid-19.

Home bosses said the outbreak followed the discharge of 15 NHS hospital patients into the home without tests for the virus.

The film included several heartbreaking contributions and personal memories from grieving family members.

One of them Ann Knowles, daughter-in-law of Joan Knowles, reflected on the fact that they “couldn’t choose her outfit for her final journey”, adding: “That would have been the last thing we could have done, but we couldn’t.”

Joan Knowles passed away at Haslingden Hall Care Home

Following the broadcast, Ann said: “Communication from the home to relatives has always been an issue as I don’t agree with Facebook being the primary method of issuing updates on conditions in the home when an email could be issued to all relatives.

“However, there has certainly been an improvement in communications.”

She added: “I can’t fault the work of all the carers.

“There have been some who have kept us updated on Rita’s condition using their own mobiles and in some instances have been happy for me to contact them directly if I have any concerns.”

On May 22 we reported that more than 90 per cent of the home’s dedicated team had been absent at some point due to the virus, leaving them “disproportionately” reliant on agency staff.

The home admitted this meant they had not always been in a position to provide families with all of the real-time information they had requested during the “hugely challenging period.”

Haslingden Hall have said they were well stocked with protective equipment throughout the pandemic, and never had an problem with supplies.

In response to the Channel 4 News film, a spokesman for the home told the Free Press this week: “The home has been free of Covid for several months due to the hard work and dedication of our team, who continue to follow strict hygiene procedures and use appropriate PPE.

“No new residents are admitted without certification that they have been tested and found to be negative for Covid-19.

“We are keeping in regular contact with all residents’ families to keep them updated on their relatives and both they, and Lancashire County Council, have been hugely supportive of what is being done.”

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