Ministers have been accused of “leaving our care homes exposed” after figures reveal that care home cases tripled in July.
Analysis of DHSC figures by the Liberal Democrats have revealed that there were 14,660 positive COVID tests among care home staff in four weeks to 27 July compared with 4,552 in June.
Cases are now at their highest since February, with 2,047 care home residents testing positive in the four weeks to 27 July, up from 596 in the previous month.
Speaking to I newspaper, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, said “Conservative Ministers have taken their eyes off the ball again, leaving our care homes exposed to skyrocketing cases. They should be ashamed. Their claims of a protective ring around care homes was a disgraceful lie and now we’re seeing again why this shambolic government can’t be trusted to protect our vulnerable loved ones.”
The disclosures came despite statistics showing that 78 per cent of care home staff had been vaccinated and almost 94 per cent of the residents had received both doses.
In England since the outbreak and up to August 6, there have been 29,574 residents in care homes who have died from Covid-19, according to information supplied by the Office for National Statistics. In July, 96 residents died – a month earlier the number was below 50.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have done all we can to protect vulnerable people in adult social care. We have provided billions of pounds to support the sector including on infection and prevention control measures, free PPE, additional testing and priority vaccinations.
“As a result, 94.4% of older adult care home residents have now had two vaccine doses in England, providing them with vital protection against hospitalisation and serious illness from the virus.
“The vaccines are saving lives, especially for the most vulnerable – preventing 84,600 deaths, 66,900 hospitalisations and 23 million infections in England