Responding to the latest ONS figures on deaths from COVID-19 in the community, which show that up until 10 April nearly 20 per cent of coronavirus deaths occurred outside hospitals including in care homes, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board:
“Every death from this virus is a tragedy. We must take every possible step to protect our elderly and most vulnerable and those who work with them from this disease.
“Today’s sad and shocking figures highlight just what a severe challenge we face in care homes and other community settings. Council social care staff and care homes need urgent access to reliable and ongoing supplies of quality PPE, increased rapid and comprehensive testing and greater support with staffing and other equipment, on an equal footing with the NHS.
“Data on all deaths from COVID-19 needs to be published promptly and accurately, so we can have full confidence and transparency in these figures as part of our plan to defeat this deadly virus.
“We are also yet to see the peak of the stress on the social care system, due to the delay between hospital admissions and discharge, which will require the need to start thinking about shifting capacity across from hospitals and into the community to meet a surge in demand.”