James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Government's care home death figures "don't represent reality"
14 April 2020, 10:50
The care home death figures "don't represent reality" and residents are "at the back of a very long queue" for protection, says care home union chief.
Almost half of all deaths linked to coronavirus are among residents of care homes, according to data from five European countries.
This comes after 92 care homes around the UK reported outbreaks of Covid-19 in a single day.
"Professor Whitty's figures don't seem to represent the reality compared with other countries," said Residents Association chief Judy Downey, adding that the number of homes affected have gone up 50% in a week.
"While care workers don't have adequate protection and while they are not being supervised or monitored in detail, that's going to continue to happen because they're at the back of a very long queue it seems to us," Ms Downey.
"When you think of the number of care workers who are now off sick and the number of agency workers going from home to home, this is incendiary."
Industry bosses in the UK have claimed daily death tolls are "airbrushing out" hundreds of older people who've died in the care system.
Baroness Ros Altmann wrote that vulnerable care home residents have been "abandoned like lambs to a slaughter."
Care England, an industry body representing independent care homes, fears that 1,000 residents could have died from the virus and says even more "unrecorded deaths" could have been "swept under the carpet".