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40,000 care home COVID deaths during lockdown, as rates near return to 2020 high

Almost 40,000 care home residents died with or from COVID during 2020-21, latest CQC data shows.

The report for 2020-21 shows that in the final quarter of the health and social care year, death rates from COVID almost doubled compared to the previous quarter, to reach a near-year high of 13,208.

Care home residents in the South-East were the most affected by COVID during Q4 (Jan-March 31, 2021) , accounting for one in four (3,348) of all care home resident deaths during the quarter. This compares to the North-East, which reported 4 per cent of all care home resident COVID deaths (569).

Presenting the data, the CQC says that infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in care homes can not be blamed for the care home resident death toll, which includes deaths of residents that occurred in other settings, eg, hospital. The CQC cites its November 2020 report of IPC in care homes, which showed assurance ranging from 82-91 per cent. It goes on to note that nearly two-thirds of care homes (65 per cent) demonstrated assurance in all eight areas we looked at.

The CQC’s State of Care report due out later this year will show further rises in the level of assurance, it says.

Commenting, Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF)  “The pandemic has shown the integral role care and support plays in people’s lives. We urge the government to be ambitious for social care and work together with people who receive care and support, their families and the wider care sector to develop a long-term strategy that recognises the vital role of social care in supporting and delivering essential services for millions of people every day.

“We join with our members in expressing our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of all those who have passed, in what has been an unprecedented time.”

2020-2021Care home resident
COVID deaths (England)
  • Care Inspectorate Wales has been notified of 1,924 care home resident deaths with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 14 July 2021. This makes up 19.3 per cent of all adult care home resident reported deaths during this period. In the last two weeks, there have been no reported deaths of care home residents relating to suspected or confirmed COVID-19.


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