Call for “ring of steel” as care home deaths double in a week

Covid-19 related in care homes across the UK have doubled in one week, according to new research.

Data collected by the National Care Forum, the leading representative body for the not-for-profit adult social care sector, shows 2,500 deaths within care homes within seven days.

Forty-seven of NCF care provider members contributing to the audit, representing 1169 care services that collectively support 30,217 people across the UK – 7.4% of the overall residential care sector population.

The report compares baseline data from providers at the earliest stages of the pandemic, from 6th March to 7th April (a full month), with results from 7th April to 13th April (one week only). It demonstrates a significant increase in Coronavirus related deaths within care homes, which when scaled up suggest that more than 2500 care home residents may have died in the homes of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 during last week alone, representing a 193% increase.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, said:

“The figure of more than 4000 people passing away of COVID-19 within care homes in little more than one month is devastating. Every death is a loss and a tragedy. It is even more worrying to see a virtual doubling of deaths within homes in just one week, clearly indicating that whilst all attention has been on managing the peak in hospitals, the virus has attacked our most vulnerable communities. Care providers need to be given every ounce of support from government to protect the vulnerable people they care for and the health of their workforce, but to date this has not been forthcoming.

“By highlighting the scale of the tragedy, we are giving the government an opportunity to respond with equal effort. It must act immediately and build a ‘ring of steel’ around care homes. They need the right PPE equipment, medical monitoring devices, rapid and comprehensive testing, proper funding and intensive research to safeguard the people they care for.”

Date published: April 20, 2020

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