Care HomesHighlightsNews

Caution Urged As Care Home Death Figures Fall

Providers stress need to improve support for carers

Care providers today gave a cautious welcome to the news that care home deaths from coronavirus continue to fall.

But the Independent Care Group (ICG) remains fearful of a second spike in cases and is calling on the Government to provide better support for all care providers.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 1,666 people died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to 8 May. That is down from 2,423 the previous week and 2,800 the week before that.

ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “Today’s figures, allied to those of the previous weeks, do give us some cautious optimism that we are getting past the worst of coronavirus.

“However, we are still fearful that the relaxation of some of the lockdown measures might send figures up again and create a second spike.”

The ICG says providers are still facing issues with getting personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper testing.

“The Government still has questions to answer because PPE and testing is still a serious issue for many providers as they cope with Covid-19,” Mr Padgham added.

“Crucially, financial support is still not getting through to social care providers on the front line and serious questions need to be asked as to why not. Once the dust settles on all this I think there should be a public inquiry.”

The ICG has previously warned that care providers were being hampered in their fight against Covid-19 through a lack of PPE and insufficient testing. It has also called on the Government to provide better financial support for care providers amidst concerns that the £3.2bn pledged for local authorities to help them support social care is not reaching care and nursing homes and homecare providers.

Social care currently looks after 400,000 people in care and nursing homes – that is three times the number in NHS hospital beds. Social care looks after a further 640,000 people in their own homes.