Further four care home deaths linked to coronavirus in Redbridge
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 May 2020
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A further four care home deaths linked to the coronavirus have occurred in Redbridge, new figures reveal.
The latest figures come after a leading expert said delayed enforcement of the coronavirus lockdown contributed to the country’s high death toll, with the threat to care homes given “insufficient attention”.
Office for National statistics data shows that in Redbridge, 266 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to May 9 – up from 242 the week before.
Of those, 17 occurred in care homes and 17 at private homes. A further two deaths occurred in hospices, other community establishments or elsewhere.
In the previous week, 13 Covid-19 deaths had been recorded in care homes.
The figures include deaths that occurred up to May 1 which were registered up to eight days later.
It means in total, at least 36 Covid-19-related deaths in Redbridge occurred outside hospital up to May 9 – equal to 14pc of the total figure from the ONS.
ONS figures are based on where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions.
The number of people who died of the coronavirus in Redbridge’s hospitals up to May 9 was 230, according to the ONS, 17 more than the week before.
Across England and Wales, there were roughly 33,400 coronavirus-related deaths up to May 1. Of those, 68pc occurred in hospitals and 25pc in care homes, with the rest taking place elsewhere.
Separate analysis shows there were 8,314 deaths in care homes involving the coronavirus reported by care home providers in England to the Care Quality Commission between April 10 and May 8, according to the ONS.
Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, a leading expert in strategic studies, said the Government followed public opinion rather than shaped it in the early days of the outbreak.
In an article for Survival, the journal of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Sir Lawrence said that after lockdown restrictions were announced on March 23, the measures “enjoyed wide public support and compliance was good”.
“The Government met its main target. The NHS was not overwhelmed. Yet the death toll is high,” he said.
“One reason for this, hard to quantify, was the delayed moving to lockdown.
“It is now clear that while preparing the NHS for an influx of cases, the threat to care homes was not only given insufficient attention, but even aggravated.”
The Government’s recently published coronavirus recovery strategy details steps to protect care homes, including offering testing to staff and residents at every care home looking after over-65s.
A new online portal for homes to arrange deliveries of Covid-19 test kits was launched by the Department of Health and Social Care on May 11.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the portal “allows those who book tests for staff and residents to do so even more easily, and it also offers a route for the prioritisation of care homes with the greatest need.”
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