More than 20 Fullarton care home residents have now died from COVID-19 after an outbreak was revealed in the privately-run facility.

Care providers HC-One confirmed the death toll has now doubled after we previously revealed around 10 tragedies in Fullarton Care Home, after a letter was sent out informing families of the outbreak back in April.

HC-One confirmed that 22 residents had died of suspected or confirmed coronavirus and that they were working to support the families affected.

The under fire care provider hit back at suggestions of secrecy over the deaths adding that families were informed in writing of the outbreak at the home, and the families of any resident that tested positive were kept updated on their condition by telephone.

A spokesperson for the home said: “Caring for our residents and supporting our colleagues is at the heart of what we do, and we are doing everything we can to make sure our residents and colleagues stay safe and well throughout these challenging times.

“We have a comprehensive coronavirus contingency plan in place, which was created by our clinical director and reflects the latest government guidance. Throughout the pandemic, we have had access to the medical equipment, PPE, and supplies needed to protect residents and colleagues. Colleagues also have access to a range of coronavirus specific training modules, including on the correct use of PPE and enhanced infection control practices. These training modules have been regularly updated to reflect all changes in the official guidance over recent months.

“We have always had the number of colleagues needed to safely support our residents. To provide additional support, two members of regional team and our learning and development team have been based at this home for a number of weeks.

“HC-One have been regularly keeping in touch with next of kin of our residents at Fullarton care home to inform them of the situation, as well as providing the necessary updates on their loved ones. Relatives are able to call the home for updates and they can also contact our dedicated careline, an expert team who can answer questions and are also able to arrange updates directly from the home.

“We are proud of our colleagues and how they have risen to the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak by showing huge dedication and commitment to our residents. We are providing round-the-clock support for our teams, and we are also grateful to relatives for their support and understanding.”

A North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “We continue to work closely with all partners in relation to Fullarton Care Home, where very sadly a number of individuals have died of either a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

“We appreciate this is a very worrying time. However, we would like to assure people that every measure is being taken to protect residents and staff.”

Irvine MSP Ruth Maguire said: “The deaths at Fullarton Care Home are devastatingly sad and my heart goes out to the families of residents. Families are entitled to feel secure that their relatives being looked after in care homes are receiving the best possible level of care, particularly during this pandemic.”