A YORK MP has called for the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in each York care home to be made public - as The Press reveals one of the homes which has suffered an outbreak of the disease.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said she believed the public had a right to know how many cases of Covid-19 had been identified and how many people had sadly died of Covid-19 or possible Covid-19 at each care home, whether they had died there or subsequently in hospital.

She said she understood from relatives and care staff that there had been a number of outbreaks in care homes, but this had not been confirmed by City of York Council.

She said she believed that families who had relatives in a York care home should be provided with clear information about infection there, since they might want to take further measures to protect their loved ones.

The Press made inquiries of Barchester last week after hearing from sources that there had been a number of Covid-19 cases and deaths at one of its homes in York, Meadowbeck in Osbaldwick. The newspaper has delayed reporting Barchester's response while Ms Maskell made inquiries with the authorities.

The company confirmed last week that it had had individuals confirmed with Covid-19 at the home, and 'tragically some of those have sadly passed away,' but it did not reveal the total number of fatalities.

It said: "Every one of these deaths is a tragedy for all of us, and we send our heartfelt condolences to our residents, their families and our staff that have suffered.

“The home is in regular contact with Public Health England and also had Infection Control perform an inspection from which there were no negative findings.

"As a large care home provider we have a robust supply chain and currently have PPE where it is needed, including at Meadowbeck care home. Mirroring, the national picture, we can confirm that we are seeing a decrease in deaths and infection rates at the home.”

The MP revealed that in response to care home staff and domiciliary care staff raising concerns with her, she had phoned all the care providers in her constituency and passed the concerns on to the Care Quality Commission, City of York Council and where necessary the Vale of York CCG.

“I have been requesting information locally and in Parliament to highlight the serious impact that Covid-19 is having on York residents in receipt of care," she said.

"Much of this information is yet to be forthcoming. I believe that the public have a right to know what is going on, not least if they have a relative living in one of York’s care facilities.

"So much has been asked of the public over the last 2½ months as a result of this pandemic, however they also need to have a clear insight as to what it is going on.

“I have been contacted by residents’ families who have reported that Covid-19 was present at the home of their relatives, normally a parent, and wanted confirmation. In one case, a parent subsequently died of Covid-19; they wanted to protect their parent, now it is too late.

“I call on City of York Council and the Government to be far more transparent about what is happening in our care homes. If there is an outbreak of Covid-19, then we need to know. I will continue to ask the difficult questions until I get answers.”

She said Cllr Anna Perrett, deputy leader of the council's Labour Group, had also been pressing for greater transparency over Covid-19 in care homes.

Cllr Perrett said: "It is clear that care staff have been on the front line during this crisis, and worked round the clock to care for some of our most vulnerable residents despite experiencing the most challenging conditions of their career.

"The Government did not prioritise the care sector at the outbreak and we want to establish what steps were taken by the council to protect both the residents and the staff within our local care homes."

The Press has asked City of York Council and the Government to respond to the MP's claims andwill publish their response.

*Has your relative suffered from coronavirus in a York care home? We would like to hear your views in response to the points raised by the York Central MP. Email mike.laycock@thepress.co.uk.