More than 1,000 coronavirus-related care home deaths in UK

21 April 2020, 11:56

Care home deaths have surpassed the 1,000 mark
Care home deaths have surpassed the 1,000 mark. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

There have been more than 1,000 coronavirus-related care home deaths in the UK, official figures released today show.

The latest weekly figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed there had been a further 826 Covid-19 related care home deaths registered up to 10 April.

In total, there were 1,662 deaths involving coronavirus outside English and Welsh hospitals up until that date. The total number of deaths inside hospitals until that point stood at 8,673.

1,043 of the deaths outside hospitals occurred in care homes, 466 happened in private homes, 87 in hospices, 21 in other communal establishments and 45 took place elsewhere.

The ONS took into account all cases where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, even if it is present among other health conditions.

As of 3 April, there were only 406 coronavirus-related deaths occurring outside English and Welsh hospitals according to the ONS - around 10 per cent of the total.

Of those, 217 were in care homes, 33 in hospices, 136 in private homes, three in other communal establishments and 17 elsewhere.

This week's numbers show the proportion of deaths outside hospitals rose to 16 per cent, compared to 83.9 per cent inside hospitals.

The ONS figures show the total number of deaths in England for the period - 12,516 - was 22 per cent higher than the figure published by NHS England - 10,260 - which only includes hospital deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus.

Overall, 13,121 deaths involving the virus have occurred in England and Wales up to 10 April 10 and registered up to 18 April.

This is 41 per cent higher than the 9,288 people who died in UK hospitals during the same period, as reported by the Department of Health.

Of the deaths recorded in the week ending 10 April, 6,213 were with "novel coronavirus," accounting for around a third of all deaths (33.6 per cent). This was up from 21.2 per cent of all deaths in the previous week.

According to the ONS figures, the number of care home deaths has almost doubled in four weeks to 4,927, while they also accounted for more than one in four deaths registered up until the week ending 10 April.

From 28 April, the ONS will publish counts of deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes, based on deaths reported by care home operators to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Last week, 24 residents were reported to have died inside a coronavirus-hit West Midlands care home, including eight who tested positive for the disease.

Care England, which represents independent care firms, previously said it had collected data which suggested fatalities are far higher than those released by the Office for National Statistics.

The charity warned the total number of care home deaths could be as high as 7,500.

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