Responding to the latest ONS figures on deaths from COVID-19 in the community, which show that up until 3 April around 10 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 to this disease is a tragedy and our thoughts and sympathies are with all those affected. These figures begin to shine a light on the impact of coronavirus in care settings and on older and disabled people who use social care services. They are another stark reminder of the severe pressures facing care providers and the desperate need to ensure key issues, such as personal protective equipment, testing and safe discharge from hospital are urgently prioritised.
“Social care staff are at the forefront of responding to the coronavirus. They are doing an incredible and dangerous job in extremely challenging circumstances.
“It is absolutely vital that PPE is made available for everyone who needs it, including those working in home care and care homes. Consistent and reliable supplies of PPE are vital to protect care workers and those that they care for. It is also vital that care homes can access support from community and primary healthcare professionals.
“Many councils have already taken important steps to help support their local care providers and they will continue to work closely with them in dealing with the challenges and costs of delivering care and support during this pandemic. It is important that government ensures that councils have access to sufficient funding to support social care providers, alongside meeting the wider costs arising as a result of the coronavirus crisis.”