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July 4, 2020

20,000 care home residents died of Covid-19: ONS

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P
Pa
July 4, 2020

LONDON: Almost 20,000 care home residents in England and Wales have died with coronavirus, the majority dying in their care home, official figures show.

Death certificates for 19,394 residents mentioned “novel coronavirus” between March 2 and June 12, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Covid-19 accounted for 29 per cent of the deaths of care home residents over this period and a fifth of all deaths of care home residents this year.

The latest data includes all care home residents who died with coronavirus either at their care home or in hospital. This pushes the overall care home resident death figure 32 per cent higher than the 14,658 deaths in care homes reported by the ONS on Tuesday.

Three-quarters (74.9 per cent) of residents died in their care home, while a quarter (24.8 per cent) died in hospital, the figures show. Some 65 residents, representing 0.3 per cent of the total, died in a separate location such as a private home or hospice.

There has been a slowdown in the number of overall deaths and those involving Covid-19 in care home residents since mid-April, the ONS said.

There have also been 819 deaths involving Covid-19 of people receiving domiciliary care between April 10 and June 19, according to Care Quality Commission data.

There were 6,523 deaths from all causes over this period of people receiving care in their own home – 3,628 deaths more than the average over the past three years.

Separately, a survey looking at infection in more than 9,000 care homes in England between May 26 and June 20 estimates that more than half (56 per cent) of the care homes have had at least one confirmed case of coronavirus. Some 5,126 care homes responded to the Vivaldi study, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, and estimates were produced by weighting the actual responses to take account of the care homes which did not respond.

Of these, 20 per cent of residents and 7 per cent of staff are estimated to have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, as reported by care home managers. The results differ from the latest Public Health England statistics, which state that 43 per cent of care homes in England have had an outbreak, defined as two or more suspected or confirmed cases.

The authors estimate that, of the total, 93 per cent offer sick pay to their staff, 12 per cent have staff who work in more than one location, and 44 per cent do not employ any bank or agency staff.

The ONS figures show that Covid-19 was the leading cause of death across the period for male care home residents across all age groups, accounting for a third (33.5 per cent) of all deaths, followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (24.7 per cent).