A third of coronavirus deaths are taking place in care homes new figures reveal
A THIRD of all coronavirus deaths in England and Wales are now happening in care homes, unrecorded in the government’s daily updates, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed today.
There were 2,000 coronavirus care-home deaths in the week ending April 17, double from the previous week, bringing the total number to 3,096.
Projections for the last week suggest that the numbers of Covid-19 deaths in care homes have continued to rise.
In comparison, coronavirus deaths in hospitals, which have passed 21,000, have started falling after peaking on April 8.
Independent Care Group’s Mike Padgham said that care homes were now the “true front line” in the fight against coronavirus.
He said that the crisis is “taking a terrible toll” on the service.
“These are our loved ones — mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and friends who have been taken from us early,” Mr Padgham said.
Staff and residents at care homes are facing a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the government only approved of testing for residents showing symptoms earlier this month.
Labour’s shadow social-care minister Liz Kendall said that it was clear that the virus was having a “devastating impact” on care homes and called for urgent action to “get a grip of this problem.”
Ms Kendall wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday to lay out six key areas of action from the government to address the growing crisis faced by social care.
The letter calls for action on a new intermediate care strategy for people being discharged from hospital following positive testing, improved access to and priority testing for social-care workers and a guarantee that all care workers get the PPE they need.
The letter calls for the government to ensure social care has “whatever resources it takes” to deal with the pandemic, new leadership for the social-care sector with a new chief care officer, and says that daily reporting of Covid-19 deaths outside hospitals is also needed.
Downing Street has insisted that it has acted to prevent the spread of coronavirus within care homes in the early stages of the pandemic, including guidance issued to ban visits.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We want to do all we can to support those living and working in care homes at what we accept is an enormously difficult time.”
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