PPE failures in care homes may have contributed to UK excess death toll, research finds

Lack of protection for care homes may have contributed to the UK having the highest number of excess deaths during COVID-19, the Health Foundation has concluded.

Looking at age-standardised excess death rates – in effect asking the question: If countries had the same age structure how would they compare on excess deaths? – the think-tank concludes that the UK has been the hardest hit by excess deaths during the pandemic, compared to five other countries. This includes Spain, which at the peak of its pandemic saw 155 per cent more deaths than usual over an 11-week period.

In its research, the Health Foundation calls for an investigation into areas including  lockdown policies and adherence, the availability of PPE, and how testing was used, the prevalence of risk factors such as obesity, access to and the quality of health care received by patients with COVID-19 and by those not infected with the coronavirus.

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