Commenting on today’s release of Office National Statistics (ONS) data: Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by occupation, England and Wales (up to 25 May), Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, said:
'Today’s ONS figures highlight yet again that COVID-19 is not a great leveller – with people in low-paid occupations, those living in more deprived areas and people from black and minority ethnic communities at significantly higher risk of dying from the virus than the general population. While the reasons for this are complex, the government, as well as public and private sector employers, must take urgent steps to ensure those at greatest risk have clear guidance and the right protection in place to avoid further deaths. How effective this has been will be shown up in future ONS data, particularly if there are further peaks of the pandemic.
‘These data show social care workers are around twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as compared to the general population. The scale of deaths, among both staff and people receiving social care support, is linked to the fact that the sector has seen years of under-investment and political neglect. To reduce further avoidable loss of life in social care in the event of a further COVID-19 peak, national and local government must redouble their efforts and investment. National government must also act on the long overdue need to reform access and funding of social care.’