A CARE home has claimed some of its residents “were not given the chance to fight” when they developed Covid-19.

Westcliff Lodge Care Home lost nine of its 22 residents to the virus, but bosses claim four of those were denied the chance to be treated by the NHS.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, director Dr Jenny Smith highlighted that one resident who showed symptoms – and later died from the virus – was told not to go to hospital.

But the Southend Clinical Commissioning group has insisted it responded according to Government guidelines and is willing to comply with any investigation.

Dr Smith said: “Elderly people were effectively written off from medical treatment, denied medical treatment.

“It is a strong claim and we feel so strongly about it that we have taken the time to think about it, and we’ve written up about it and we’ve submitted our concerns to the Care Quality Commission.”

Resident George Atkins, 89, had dementia but was physically fit. Mr Atkins became ill the first week of April, stopped eating and couldn’t take in fluids.

Manager Nick Bourousia, who rang 111, said: “I said he just can’t even put anything in his mouth. He can’t swallow and if I try to he’s just going to aspirate.

“And I got told to ‘just prompt fluids’ and they’d do him antibiotics. That was it. If the NHS were overrun with people, I’d understand it, I really do, but they weren’t overrun.

“I’m not saying treatment would’ve cured it or they would have pulled through it, but they would have had a chance to fight it.”

John Cullerton, another resident at Westcliff Lodge, had a seizure on April 14 and because of this was sent to hospital where he tested positive for the virus, but he survived and went back to the home.

Staff said between March 13 and April 30 no doctors or nurses came to the home and despite requests, no residents were referred to hospital.

Tricia D’Orsi, chief nurse for Southend Clinical Commissioning Group - which finds NHS care - said: “Any death is a tragedy and whilst we are unable to comment on the specific circumstances, we are committed to supporting care homes to make sure both staff and residents have access to the care they need.

“Due to Covid-19, the situation had changed with regard to all routine non-pandemic management of patients. The response was appropriate and we operated within national guidelines.” Ms D’Orsi said she was happy to co-operate with a full probe.