Care homes have reported more than 4,300 coronavirus-related deaths in a fortnight, official figures show.
Figures jointly published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) show the healthcare watchdog was notified of a total of 4,343 deaths from COVID-19 between 10 and 24 April.
This is the first time that statistics from the CQC have been included in the weekly update from the ONS.
The CQC data on notifications of coronavirus related deaths in care homes show a total of 1,968 from 10 to 17 April, which closely matches the 1,929 COVID-19 related deaths in care home settings that were registered in England over the same time period.
In total, there were 2,906 deaths involving COVID-19 registered in English care homes up to April 17th.
The latest data from CQC shows an additional 2,375 COVID-19 related deaths in care home settings from 18 to 24 April.
The ONS figures also show a total of 19,112 deaths involving COVID-19 were registered in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 17 April 2020.
Including deaths that occurred up to 17 April but were registered up to 25 April, the ONS estimates that the total number involving COVID-19 was 21,284 for England and 1,016 for Wales.
‘This data clearly shows us the importance of tracking the impact of COVID-19 beyond hospitals,’ said National Care Forum executive director, Vic Rayner.
‘It is essential we know what is happening in care homes and wider communities. Data saves lives and having access to timely, accurate data about the impact of COVID-19, both in terms of the devastating loss of life and the prevalence of COVID-19 outbreaks in care settings, means we have a much better prospect of targeting help and support to the frontline of care to defeat it,’ she added.
‘It shows the very urgent need for a daily tracking of all COVID-19 deaths as a key priority for the Government. Every day we review the graphs on the daily briefings to understand the charting of the progress of COVID-19 in hospitals – we must now see the daily picture in care homes and communities.’
The chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, commented: ‘Every death from this virus is a tragedy. This is being exacerbated by the fact some social care staff and other frontline workers still lack the necessary PPE to protect themselves and the people they care for from contracting coronavirus.
‘Social care is now the frontline in the fight against coronavirus and we need to do all we can to shield people in care homes and those receiving care in their own homes.’
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