Sidmouth: Police end investigation into 11 Covid deaths at care home and take no further action – as CQC considers health and safety ‘offences’

A police investigation into an outbreak of Covid-19 at a Sidmouth care home where 11 people died has ended, with no further action to be taken against two suspects.

Both the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are now considering offences relating to the Care Act 2014 and health and safety legislation.

A CQC spokesperson, added: “Following the inspection of Holmesley Care Home, CQC imposed urgent conditions upon the service.

“Following this, CQC are considering what further action we may want to take.”

Devon and Cornwall Police, which carried out enquiries in response to the deaths, said no further action will be taken against a 57-year-old woman from Sidmouth and a 30-year-old man from Exeter, who were investigated on suspicion of wilful neglect under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

Police said following extensive enquiries, which involved interviewing staff and residents’ family members and searches of the home – and with early consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service – the decision was taken that the criminal threshold for neglect has not been met.

Police said the deaths – all believed to be related to the outbreak – were reported at Holmesley Care Home, in Sidford, between February 25 and April 16, 2021.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Lesley Bulley, said: “Our priority has been to understand the cause of the outbreak at Holmesley Care Home and ensure that safeguarding concerns were addressed.

“We would like to thank the families of the deceased for their patience throughout what has been a really complex case.”

An investigation, led by Devon and Cornwall Police, was launched in partnership with a multi-agency safeguarding response to ensure the well-being of the residents in the home.

Police said specialist officers have been liaising with family members.


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