Hospitals are continuing to discharge patients infected with Covid-19 into Britain’s struggling care homes, despite new figures showing deaths in the care sector still rising while those in hospitals are falling.
Deputy chief scientific adviser Dame Angela McLean revealed the government was now seriously concerned about the scale of the outbreak in care homes.
She said the number of deaths was now almost half of those in hospitals adding: “There is a real issue that we need to get to grips with.”
In March care homes were told they had to accept thousands of patients discharged from hospitals to help hospitals free up 33,000 beds ahead of the coronavirus surge. But due to a lack of community testing it was not possible to test all patients, meaning the virus may have been able to spread without detection.
Public Health England data last week showed the virus has now established itself in more than 4,500 care homes across the country.
Sarah Scobie from the Nuffield Trust health think tank said: “The vulnerable social care sector is now becoming the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in this country. Despite a very small decrease in overall deaths from the previous week, the numbers in care homes are still growing."
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Source: The Independent, 6 May 2020