The latest figures from the ONS show that the total number of care home deaths have increased by almost six times in seven days
According to the ONS, deaths in which COVID-19 was a factor, were 41% higher in England and Wales than what had been shown in the government’s official figures, that only represented deaths withing hospitals, in the week leading up to the 10th of April.
The new statistics, revealed in an ONS (Office for National Statistics) report, take into account deaths within, as well as outside of hospitals in the UK.
Overall, 13,121 deaths involving COVID-19 have occurred in England and Wales up to the 10th of April, and registered deaths up to the 18th of April, which is 41% higher than the Department of Health’s figures of 9,288 people who died in UK in hospitals during the same period of time.
These new figures have been labelled as “sad and shocking”, with the Labour party saying they were “only scratching the surface of the emerging crisis in social care”.
The latest ONS weekly total shows that up to the 10th of April, there were 1,662 registered deaths in which COVID-19 was a factor in England and Wales that happened outside of UK hospitals.
Of those registered deaths taking place outside of hospitals 1,043 happened in care homes, up from 217 fatalities the week before.
The Office of National Statistics, have reported that their figures are based on whether or not COVID-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including as one factor in combination with other health conditions.
The previous weekly figures, those occurring up to the 3rd of April, showed that a total of just 406 registered deaths involving COVID-19 happened outside of hospitals in England and Wales, which is around 10% of the total.
Labour’s shadow social care minister Liz Kendall said the figures demonstrate the “terrible toll” that the virus is having on elderly and disabled people in care homes.
“Yet these awful figures are only scratching the surface of the emerging crisis in social care, because they are already 11 days out of date,”
“The government must now publish daily figures of COVID-19 deaths outside hospital, including in care homes, so we know the true scale of the problem.”
“This is essential to tackling the spread of the virus, ensuing social care has the resources it needs and getting vital PPE and testing to care workers on the frontline.”
Breaking News Today has previously covered when the ONS had claimed that ‘One in 10’ virus deaths taking place outside hospitals on the 14th of April, when the figures for those deaths occurring outside of hospitals up to the 3rd of April were around 10% of the total number of fatalities.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, described the latest statistics as “sad and shocking”.
He said the new figures:
“highlight just what a severe challenge we face in care homes and other community settings”.
Hudspeth added: “Council social care staff and care homes need urgent access to reliable and ongoing supplies of quality PPE [personal protective equipment], increased rapid and comprehensive testing and greater support with staffing and other equipment, on an equal footing with the NHS.”
“Data on all deaths from COVID-19 needs to be published promptly and accurately, so we can have full confidence and transparency in these figures as part of our plan to defeat this deadly virus.”
Of those deaths that that were registered in the week up to the 10th of April, 6,123 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” on the deaths certificate, which is around around a third of all deaths.