The Prime Minister said he “bitterly regrets” the care home crisis after new figures revealed almost 20,000 residents have perished.
Official figures show 19,394 death certificates mentioned “novel coronavirus” between March 2 and June 12.
Covid-19 accounted for 29 per cent of the deaths of care home residents over this period and a fifth of all deaths of care home residents this year.
Says “we’ll have to go back” to learn what went wrong but says separately that “now isn’t the time” to do a comprehensive review of whole govt response.— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) July 3, 2020
Problem with waiting too long is a second spike could be just around the corner. If review hasn’t happened, will we do better?
Care home death figure
The latest data includes all care home residents who died with coronavirus either at their care home or in hospital.
This pushes the overall care home resident death figure 32 per cent higher than the 14,658 deaths in care homes reported by the ONS on Tuesday.
Three-quarters (74.9 per cent) of residents died in their care home, while a quarter (24.8 per cent) died in hospital, the figures show.
Some 65 residents, representing 0.3 per cent of the total, died in a separate location such as a private home or hospice.
“At least one confirmed case”
Separately, a survey looking at infection in more than 9,000 care homes in England between May 26 and June 20 estimates that more than half (56 per cent) of the care homes have had at least one confirmed case of coronavirus.
Some 5,126 care homes responded to the Vivaldi study and estimates were produced by weighting the actual responses to take account of the care homes which did not respond.
Of deaths involving #COVID19 among care home residents, 74.9% (14,519 deaths) occurred within a care home, and 24.8% (4,810 deaths) occurred within a hospital https://t.co/W9CmaErgXw pic.twitter.com/XcOjskcArA— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) July 3, 2020
Of these, 20 per cent of residents and 7 per cent of staff are estimated to have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, as reported by care home managers.
The results differ from the latest Public Health England statistics, which state that 43 per cent of care homes in England have had an outbreak, defined as two or more suspected or confirmed cases.
The authors estimate that, of the total, 93 per cent offer sick pay to their staff, 12 per cent have staff who work in more than one location, and 44 per cent do not employ any bank or agency staff.
The vast majority (97 per cent) said they have been closed to visitors during the pandemic, while almost a fifth (19 per cent) have not accepted new admissions.
The higher the number of infected staff members and number of bank or agency staff, the higher the risk of care home residents being infected, the study found.
For each additional member of infected staff working in the care home, the odds of residents becoming infected rose 11 per cent.
Dementia and Alzheimer disease was the most common main pre-existing condition found among deaths involving #COVID19 and was involved in 49.5% of all COVID-19 related care home resident deaths https://t.co/m1wZiHJ88w pic.twitter.com/fmBc6JEPS3— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) July 3, 2020
And residents in care homes which employed bank and agency staff most days or every day were 58 per cent more likely to become infected than those who never used them.
Staff in homes which employed bank or agency staff most or every day were 81 per cent more likely to be infected compared with those which did not use them.
And those working in care homes where staff regularly work elsewhere were more than twice as likely to be infected compared with those in homes where staff did not work in other places.
The ONS care home resident figures show the daily number of deaths peaked in England on April 17, when a total of 515 deaths occurred (413 in care homes, 100 in hospitals and two in other locations).
The highest number of deaths was recorded in south-east England (3,222), followed by north-west England (2,939) and Yorkshire & the Humber (2,099).
The lowest number was recorded in Wales (826), followed by south-west England (1,475) and the East Midlands (1,485).
Among male care home residents, Covid-19 was the leading cause of death across the period for all age groups, accounting for a third (33.5 per cent) of all deaths, followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (24.7 per cent).
For female care home residents, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the leading cause of death (33.8 per cent of deaths), followed by Covid-19 (26.6 per cent).
Coronavirus was the leading cause of death in female care home residents aged under 80, with dementia and Alzheimer’s the leading cause for older women.