More than 22,000 care home residents in England and Wales may have died as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, academics have calculated – more than double the number stated as passing away from the disease in official figures.
Academics at the London School of Economics (LSE) found that data on deaths in care homes directly attributed to the virus published by the Office for National Statistics significantly underestimated the impact of the pandemic on care home residents and accounted for only about 4 out of 10 of the excess deaths in care settings recorded in recent weeks in England and Wales.
The figures suggest the impact of the virus in care homes is finally reducing. They are based on reports filed directly from care home operators to the regulator, the Care Quality Commission. Care Inspectorate Wales has said Covid was confirmed or suspected in a further 504 cases in homes up to the 8 May in Wales.
But academics at the care policy and evaluation centre at the LSE found that when excess deaths of other care residents and the deaths of care home residents from Covid-19 in hospitals are taken into account, the toll that can be directly and indirectly linked to the virus pandemic is likely to be more than double the current official count.
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Source: The Guardian, 13 May 2020