Home | COVID-19 | Aged care residents dying at 3 times the normal rate in the UK during pandemic

Aged care residents dying at 3 times the normal rate in the UK during pandemic

Aged care residents died at three times the normal rate in the UK during the COVID-19 peak in April, according to official government statistics.

On April 12, 1300 people died in care homes in comparison with 407 the previous year and although only 495 of those deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, the excess 805 deaths could be attributable to the virus.

The UK's aged care sector has been in crisis throughout the pandemic and early mistakes by the government have seen the number of care home deaths soar to 20,000. A lack of staff PPE and a failure to isolate positive cases among residents have been identified as serious failures in infection control.

According to the data there have been 66,000 deaths of care home residents in England and Wales between 2 March and 12 June this year, compared to just under 37,000 deaths last year – as reported by the BBC.

Twenty thousand of those deaths mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate but another 10,000 of the excess deaths were registered to other, non-COVID related causes.

Figures also showed that there were higher cases of COVID-19 among temporary care staff who work across multiple homes and moreover, homes which give staff sick pay are likely to have fewer cases of COVID-19 among residents.

These figures coincided with the announcement that from Monday 6 July staff and residents in care homes will receive regular coronavirus tests. Staff will be tested for the virus weekly while residents will receive a test every 28 days.

Only Spain has more COVID-19 deaths than the UK in aged care across the major European states. 5.3 per cent of all deaths in aged care have been COVID related in the UK while Spain sits at 6.1 per cent, according to the Guardian.

This is in stark comparison to Germany at 0.4 per cent and Hungary at 0.2.

Although Australia’s deaths due to COVID-19 have been low in comparison, 30 of the 104 deaths recorded as COVID-19 related have occurred in residential aged care.

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