William Eichler 17 June 2020

Care home deaths drop but council chiefs still ‘seriously’ concerned

Council chiefs welcome the decrease in the number of Covid-related care home deaths but warn that it is ‘seriously concerning’ that the death rate remains so high.

The latest ONS figures on coronavirus deaths show that deaths involving Covid-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes decreased to 23.4% in the week to 5 June, compared with 28.2% in the previous week.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says that councils are doing ‘all they can’ to protect care home residents but warns that the Government has to ensure local authorities are properly resourced.

‘Social care remains the frontline in the fight against coronavirus and while it is clear we are now past the peak of the virus in care homes, it is still seriously concerning that nearly a third of all deaths from COVID-19 continues to happen in these settings,’ said Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth also noted that there has been a slight increase in the number of people dying in their homes which he described as ‘equally worrying’.

‘Excess deaths in care homes and private homes continue to be higher than the five-year average, compared to hospitals which have seen a decline, leaving our older people and most vulnerable at risk,’ he said.

‘Councils are doing all they can to protect those in care homes, as well as those receiving care in their own homes. Every council in England has prepared plans on how to support all care homes in their areas to control and prevent future infection outbreaks, working alongside the NHS locally and with Public Health England.

‘The Government needs to ensure that councils and social care services have all the resources they need for the weeks and months ahead. The LGA will also be working closely with the new National COVID-19 Social Care Support Taskforce to tackle these issues and help guide social care through this current crisis and beyond.’

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