Care home death rate declines 31% as Covid toll tops 10,000

The number of deaths in care homes related to Covid-19 has declined by 31%, according to the latest weekly data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said 1,666 people died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to 8 May. That is down from 2,423 the previous week and 2,800 the week before that.

The number of deaths in care homes from all causes for Week 19 decreased from 6,409 to 4,248.

However, deaths involving Covid-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes continued to rise to 39.2% compared with 37.8% in Week 18.

In total, there have been more than 44,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK, the ONS said.

More than a quarter of people with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate -  9,980 - died in care homes in England and Wales up to 8 May.

Of all deaths involving Covid-19 registered up to 8 May, 66.6% occurred in hospital with the remainder mainly occurring in care homes (26.7%), private homes (4.6%) and hospices (1.2%).

Meanwhile, additional data from the Care Quality Commission showed the numbers of deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes in England and Wales has topped 10,000.

In England, deaths notified between 10 April and 15 May totalled 9,762 deaths, of which 1,369 occurred in the week up to 15 May.

The Care Inspectorate Wales said the number of deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes in Wales that occurred between 17 March and 15 May totalled 392 deaths, of which 42 occurred in the week up to 15 May.

Representative body Independent Care Group welcomed the falling death toll in care homes but said it remains fearful of a second spike in cases.

“Today’s figures, allied to those of the previous weeks, do give us some cautious optimism that we are getting past the worst of coronavirus,” said chairman Mike Padgham.

“However, we are still fearful that the relaxation of some of the lockdown measures might send figures up again and create a second spike,” he added.