Further seven care home deaths linked to coronavirus in Redbridge
- Credit: PA
A further seven care home deaths linked to coronavirus have occurred in Redbridge, new figures reveal.
National care home operators say they fear the sector will become the most affected area of society in terms of Covid-19 fatalities, while the Local Government Association called the number of deaths outside hospital across England and Wales “truly shocking.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that from April 29, the Government will publish daily data on deaths from coronavirus in cares homes and the community, as well as those in hospitals.
Office for National statistics data shows that in Redbridge, 193 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to April 25 – up from 119 the week before.
This only includes deaths that occurred up to April 17 which were registered up to eight days later.
Of those, 13 occurred at private homes and eight in care homes. A further two deaths occurred in hospices, other community establishments or elsewhere.
In the previous week, one Covid-19 death had been recorded in care homes.
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It means at least 23 Covid-19-related deaths in Redbridge would have been excluded from official estimates up to April 25 – equating to 12 percent of the total figure from the ONS.
This is because ONS figures include all mentions of Covid-19 on a death certificate, including suspected cases, as well as deaths in the community, whereas the main government figures are based on the deaths of hospital patients who tested positive for the virus.
The number of people who died of coronavirus in Redbridge’s hospitals up to April 25 was 170, according to the ONS, 61 more than the week before.
Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group (ICG), said those in care and nursing homes across the country who have died “deserve better”.
He said: “Due to the lag in collating figures, we do fear that the true number of people who have died in care and nursing homes since the start of coronavirus may be higher than these figures suggest. It may well be that they are increasing whilst hospital deaths are falling.
“Social care providers are now on the true front line in the fight against Covid-19 and we need more support.”
Across England and Wales, almost four in 10 deaths (39pc) in the week to April 17 were coronavirus-related. Of those, just over three-quarters (77%) took place in hospital with the remainder occurring in care homes, private homes and hospices.
Sam Monaghan, chief executive of care home charity Methodist Homes, said: “The ONS figures are finally beginning to show what we have known for some weeks now, that care homes are sadly the most affected area of society in terms of deaths from Covid-19.
“Testing is only now starting to become more prevalent in care homes so we should start to know for certain the extent to which our care homes are being affected.”
Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said “we need to do all we can” to shield people in care homes and those receiving care in their own homes.
“We are yet to see the peak of the stress on the social care system,” he added.