Friday, 1 May 2020

Campaign Reply: 'Please Help Keep Care Home Residents and Workers In Your Constituency Safe During Covid-19'

Thank you to all those who have emailed in with regard to this campaign.

Reporting for daily deaths in non-hospital settings has unfortunately historically had a lag in reporting, which has meant a delay in the statistics that Public Health England (PHE) and the government could release during the daily briefings and online via the gov website. Given the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, commonly known as the Coronavirus, and the tragic number of deaths resulting from it outside of hospital settings the government recognised the priority of ensuring these figures are as up to date and accurate as they can possibly be. As a result, PHE have rapidly developed a new method of reporting daily Coronavirus deaths to give a more complete picture of those who have died from the virus.

From 29th April, the government’s daily figure will include deaths that have occurred in all settings where there has been a positive Coronavirus test, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. All of the figures previously reported have been revised retrospectively since the first death on 2nd March to include the additional data sources not previously included and is therefore more reflective of the actual number of deaths.

It is important to note that this is in line with the trends seen by the Official of National Statistics (ONS) in their data, which already reports deaths not in hospital settings. It will remain the case that ONS data, which publishes every week with data from 11 days ago, includes suspected cases where a test has not taken place. ONS figures will therefore continue to include more deaths than the government’s daily series.

It is also important to highlight whilst discussing data of any kind that comparing statistics with other countries across the world should be done with caution. Each country is counting Coronavirus deaths differently and reported numbers alone do not take into account population numbers, density or many other factors.

I believe any death is a tragedy and this government is committed to using this enhanced data to better understand the impact this outbreak is having on those living in care homes so that we can continue to do everything in our power to protect them, as well as those in hospital and in the wider community. The government is committed to ensuring that those living in care homes continue to receive the best care possible and that both residents and care workers are adequately protected against this virus. We will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that all appropriate support including additional funding is available to assist care homes, social care workers and residents through this exceptionally challenging time.

This all underscores the importance of everyone staying at home and keeping safe. It is simply the best weapon we have to slow the spread of the virus. That way we can protect the NHS and save lives.

Thanks once again for bringing this matter to my attention, and I trust this swift action reassures you of this government’s commitment to this extremely important issue.