Care home residents make up almost a third of Covid deaths in England and Wales

·3-min read

Care home residents have accounted for almost a third of the total number of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales, according to analysis of official data by the PA news agency.

More than 30,000 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate, provisional figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

For the first time the ONS has released data bringing together the deaths of care home residents both in care homes and other settings covering all of 2020 and the first weeks of January 2021.

Care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales
(PA Graphics)

It shows that, as of January 15 2021, 30,851 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered.

Also up to this point, some 94,971 deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales had been registered.

This means care home residents account for 32.4% of all the Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales that have been registered so far.

The number of deaths involving Covid-19 in care home residents has been rising in recent weeks.

A total of 1,719 deaths were registered in the week to January 15 – the highest figure since the week ending May 21 2020.

Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: “These are heart-breaking figures which belie the ‘protective ring’ the Government claim to have thrown around care homes.

“These figures will be alarming and concerning for residents and their relatives, but also frustrating given the sacrifices families are making around contact, yet the virus is still getting into care homes.”

Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, said: “We must never lose sight of the fact that every loss is a loved one – a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, an aunt, an uncle, or a friend.

“At the start of the pandemic there is no doubt that care and nursing homes did not get the protection they needed and were at the back of the queue when it came to getting access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper testing, which might explain why the sector has suffered so much.

“This figure demonstrates that Covid-19 has taken an awful toll and is still claiming too many lives. We must hope the figures will soon start to improve.”

Vic Rayner, executive director of National Care Forum, said: “Any death of care home residents across the care sector is a tragedy.

“The figures today remind us just how many people have been lost during this pandemic, and how vital it is that everyone across the caring community and the wider public keeps focus on doing everything within our gift to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

“Those who live in care homes do so with confidence that providers will do everything possible to keep them safe.

“It’s a very sad day to hear of these numbers and it’s evidence of the huge tragedy brought on families everywhere from this dreadful virus.”

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