The number of Covid fatalities recorded in care homes has fallen to a 5-month low according to statistics released by the Office of national Statistics (ONS)
The latest ONS data, covering the week ending September 4, revealed that there were 17 COVID-19 deaths in care homes in England and Wales, down from 23 in the week earlier, marking the lowest fatality rate since the onset of the pandemic at the end of March.
The year-to-date analysis shows that of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) up to Week 36 (week ending 4 September 2020), 63.4% (33,214 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (15,501 deaths), private homes (2,485 deaths), hospices (750 deaths), other communal establishments (224 deaths) and elsewhere (202 deaths).
Between Weeks 35 and 36, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased across the majority of settings. Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals decreased from 1.9% to 1.6%. Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes as a proportion of all deaths in care homes decreased from 1.3% in Week 35 to 1.1% in Week 36.
As well as Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) provides numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England that are based on the date the death was notified to the CQC.
From 10 April (the first day when data were collected using the CQC’s new method of identifying deaths involving COVID-19) to 11 September 2020, there were 14,232 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19. Of these deaths, 21 were notified in the week up to 11 September.
In Wales, the Welsh Government publishes the number of deaths of care home residents involving COVID-19 notified to the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). Between 17 March and 11 September 2020, there were 506 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19.
Stuart Miller, Director of Adult Social Care Delivery Department of Health and Social Care, released a letter on Friday urging care homes to conduct weekly testing and keep correct and consistent usage of PPE in light of the higher rate of infection.
Mike Padgham, Chair of the provider organisation The Independent Care Group, said: “Of course a fall in the death rate is very welcome but we remain concerned about the ongoing infection rates, which show around 3,000 people a day contracting the virus.
“We are also receiving reports of cases increasing in care and nursing homes and we have to remain cautious.
“We are continuing to remind all care providers of the need to practice careful hygiene, social distancing and use of PPE, as well as following the testing regime.
“The dangers in care and nursing homes have not gone away and our need for support is as great as ever.”