20,000 care home residents died of Covid-19: ONS
Almost 20,000 care home residents in England and Wales have died with coronavirus, the majority dying in their care home, official figures show.
Death certificates for 19,394 residents mentioned “novel coronavirus” between March 2 and June 12, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Covid-19 accounted for 29 per cent of the deaths of care home residents over this period and a fifth of all deaths of care home residents this year.
The latest data includes all care home residents who died with coronavirus either at their care home or in hospital. This pushes the overall care home resident death figure 32 per cent higher than the 14,658 deaths in care homes reported by the ONS on Tuesday.
Three-quarters (74.9 per cent) of residents died in their care home, while a quarter (24.8 per cent) died in hospital, the figures show. Some 65 residents, representing 0.3 per cent of the total, died in a separate location such as a private home or hospice.
The Prime Minister told LBC: “We will have to go back and look at the whole issue of what happened in care homes in great, great detail.
“I think what happened was absolutely tragic, there’s no question that we saw far too many lives lost in care homes and we mourn for everyone.”
Mr Johnson added that he disputed claims that people were pushed into care homes from the NHS to make space in hospitals, saying that numbers of people going into care homes fell by 40% from January to March.
“What we certainly wanted to do to was to ensure we had the space in the NHS, that’s absolutely right, but what I’m told is every decision to move people out of the beds in the NHS was taken on a clinical basis and not in any way intended to endanger the care homes,” he said.
Many Brits who lost loved ones to coronavirus in care homes are planning to force a probe into how the criss was handled.
Cathy Gardner, chair of East Devon District Council is accusing the government of “avoiding responsibility” and taking a “casual approach” over care home outbreaks.
Ms Gardner’s father, Michael Gibson, who had Alzheimer’s, died in an Oxfordshire care home on April 3 after it accepted the return of a resident from hospital who previously had Covid-19 symptoms and had tested positive.
It comes after the National Audit Office found at least 25,000 residents were discharged back in to care homes from hospitals at the peak of the pandemic without being tested.
Mr Johnson disputed claims that people were pushed into care homes from the NHS to make space in hospitals.
He said: “What we certainly wanted to to do was to ensure we had the space in the NHS, that’s absolutely right, but what I’m told is every decision to move people out of the beds in the NHS was taken on a clinical basis and not in any way intended to endanger the care homes.