The number of COVID-19 related deaths in residential and nursing care homes has fallen by a third in the latest weekly statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Figures for the week ending May 22 show that there were 1,090 COVID-19 related care home deaths in England and Wales, down by more than a third on the 1,660 recorded in the week to May 15.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales overall is now at its lowest level since late March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In total there were 12,288 registered deaths in the week ending May 22 – 2,348 more than the five-year average. During this week, 2,589 death certificates in England and Wales mentioned coronavirus, down almost one-third (32%) on the week before, this figure is considerably down on the height of the pandemic.
Responding to the news the Independent Care Group (ICG) says it is vital that the country keeps up the pressure on the virus.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Today’s figures are welcome but we must not become complacent and let coronavirus take hold again.
“We have all worked so extremely hard to get Covid-19 under control, it would be a tragedy if we took our foot off the gas now and let a second spike happen.”
Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 1,090 people died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to 22nd May. That is down from 1,660, the previous week, 1,666 the week before that, 2,423 the week before that and 2,800 the week before that.
“We have to remember that each death is a tragedy – someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend and for that reason we cannot let up,” Mr Padgham added.
“Lockdown measures are being relaxed and we understand why. But coronavirus in care and nursing homes hasn’t gone away and it is vital that we proceed safely and sensibly to keep protecting our most vulnerable.”
Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence says: “This is great news but we must treat it as a golden opportunity to make sure we get things right – and don’t repeat the mistakes that happened when the country first went into lockdown. We need guarantees on regular testing, the use of and training on using PPE equipment and an undertaking that hospitals aren’t discharging people with COVID-19 into care homes. We cannot have care homes and other care settings once again becoming incubators for infection. And it’s also a good opportunity to make sure that care and support links with health in a national, co-ordinated way, so that people also have the best experiences and outcomes in the long-term, not just during the pandemic.”