Commenting on today’s release of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data: Deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector, England and Wales (deaths occurring up to 1 May 2020 and registered up to 9 May 2020), Sarah Deeny, Assistant Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said:
 
‘Recent data have illustrated the tragic impact of COVID-19 in care homes, showing that there had been around 8,312 deaths in care homes since the outbreak began, with numbers of deaths from the virus in care homes recently overtaking those in hospitals. However, today’s data – which accounts for care home residents that have died in hospital – show that previous figures have significantly underestimated the extent of COVID-19-related deaths among residents, which total 12,526 – 51% higher than previously published.
 
‘Today’s data show that 72% of COVID-19-related deaths among care home residents have occurred within their care home, while just 27% have been in a hospital. For all causes of death, the proportion of deaths among care home residents in hospitals has declined from last year. While we would expect a high proportion of these deaths to occur within care homes, and in many cases this will be the right choice for patients, this does raise the question of whether more residents should be treated in hospitals and whether they are being provided with high-quality end of life care.
 
'This worrying data reveal the extent of the human cost of the crisis which has already taken many lives, and affected thousands of families who have lost loved ones. It underlines the need for care home staff to be given adequate support to safely and effectively care for residents, particularly those at the end of their lives. Timely and accurate data from care homes are needed now more than ever, to better understand the underlying reasons behind the continued increase in deaths and help mobilise the resources the sector so desperately needs.'

Further reading

Chart

Care homes have seen the biggest increase in deaths since the start of the outbreak

Deaths in care homes from all causes are starting to stabilise but remain 159% higher than at the...

Collection

COVID-19 chart series

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has delivered a profound shock to the UK. We'll be exploring...

You might also like...

Chart

Do all care home residents face an equal risk of dying from COVID-19?

Care homes have been on the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak, but why have some areas of the...

Press release

Government must now avoid political distraction and protect social care as a priority

Health Foundation response to ONS weekly deaths in England and Wales.

Chart

How is COVID-19 changing the use of emergency care by region?

Recent NHS England data show that A&E visits in April 2020 were the lowest since records began. This...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more