Care home deaths accounted for some 40% of coronavirus-related fatalities registered in England and Wales in the week ending May 1, with at least 10,535 of all deaths to date taking place outside hospitals, according to statistics released today (May 12)
figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that a total of 33,408 deaths involving COVID-19 were registered in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 1 May 2020 (year to date).
In England, including deaths that occurred up to 1 May but were registered up to 9 May, of those that have been processed so far, the number involving COVID-19 was 33,337; the comparative number of death notifications reported by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on GOV.UK was 25,282 and NHS England numbers, which are deaths in hospitals only, showed 21,647 deaths.
In Wales, including deaths that occurred up to 1 May but were registered up to 9 May, of those we have processed so far, the number involving COVID-19 was 1,641; the comparative number of death notifications reported by the DHSC on GOV.UK was 969 and Public Health Wales (PHW) numbers, which come from the same source as the DHSC figures but are continuously updated, showed 998 deaths.
In England, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes that were registered by 1 May was 6,997, while in Wales the number of deaths was 404.
Of all deaths involving coronavirus up to May 1, some 22,873 took place in hospitals, while 10,535 were elsewhere.
– 8,312 took place in care homes
– 1,562 were in private homes
– 386 occurred in hospices
In response to the new ONS data released today, Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at the Alzheimer’s society said:
‘Sadly, devastation continues in care homes with more than three times the usual number of deaths than average reported clearly showing the cost of not putting social care on an equal footing with the NHS. We need to know why the death toll in care homes remains so high in addition to coronavirus-reported deaths.
70% of care home residents have dementia and we’re deeply concerned that this indicates an increase in deaths due to dementia, caused by isolation and reduction in care workers.
‘Each of these deaths is a heart-breaking loss to their friends, families and carers which is why the Government must honour their commitment to ensure care homes get testing for all residents and staff and the protective equipment they need. We now approach our third month of lockdown, still with a tragically high number of care home deaths.
‘Meanwhile, people with dementia are really struggling with the lack of visits from loved ones. We need a plan to put in place safe social contact for people with dementia, so that their wellbeing and health is not irreversibly damaged by this pandemic. The calls we receive on our Dementia Connect support line show just how worried people are about the impact of this, so we’re asking the public to support our Emergency Appeal in any way they can to raise funds to ensure people affected by dementia don’t feel abandoned.’