Almost 20,000 care home residents have died with coronavirus in England and Wales – 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% 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% higher than the 14,658 deaths in care homes reported by the ONS on Tuesday.

Three-quarters (74.9%) of residents died in their care home, while a quarter (24.8%) died in hospital, the figures show.

Some 65 residents, representing 0.3% of the total, died in a separate location such as a private home or hospice.

Separately, the ONS published the first results of a survey looking at infection in more than 9,000 care homes in England between May 26 and June 20 2020.

The Vivaldi study estimates that more than half (56%) of the care homes that participated in the survey reported at least one confirmed case of coronavirus.

Of these, 20% of residents and 7% of staff are estimated to have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, as reported by care home managers.

Some 5,126 care homes responded to the Vivaldi survey and estimates were produced by weighting the actual responses to take account of the care homes which did not respond.

The authors estimate that, of the total, 93% offer sick pay to their staff, 12% have staff who work in more than one location, and 44% do not employ any bank or agency staff.

The vast majority (97%) said they have been closed to visitors during the pandemic, while almost a fifth (19%) have not accepted new admissions.

The higher the number of infected staff members and number of bank or agency staff, the higher the risk of care home residents being infected, the study found.

For each additional member of infected staff working in the care home, the odds of residents becoming infected rose 11%.

And residents in care homes which employed bank and agency staff most days or every day were more likely to become infected than those who never used them.

The ONS care home resident figures show the daily number of deaths peaked in England on April 17, when a total of 515 deaths occurred (413 in care homes, 100 in hospitals and two in other locations).

The highest number of deaths was recorded in south-east England (3,222), followed by north-west England (2,939) and Yorkshire & the Humber (2,099).

The lowest number was recorded in Wales (826), followed by south-west England (1,475) and the East Midlands (1,485).

Among male care home residents, Covid-19 was the leading cause of death across the period for all age groups, accounting for a third (33.5%) of all deaths, followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (24.7%).

For female care home residents, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the leading cause of death (33.8% of deaths), followed by Covid-19 (26.6%).

Coronavirus was the leading cause of death in female care home residents aged under 80, with dementia and Alzheimer’s the leading cause for older women.

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