Care home deaths in South East of England triple inside a week

New Office of National Statistics (ONS) data highlights huge acceleration in number of deaths in the South East

Tuesday 28 April 2020
For immediate release 

Care home deaths in South East of England triple inside a week

Commenting on data published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics that shows more than 500 people have died of Covid-19 in care homes in the South East of England, UNISON South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said:

“Social care has become the new front line in the fight against Covid-19. We can’t allow this hidden death toll to keep accelerating as it is right now.”

“If more evidence is needed of the government’s chaotic handling of the Covid-19 crisis, you just need to look at these figures.

“The number of coronavirus deaths in the region’s care homes has tripled in the space of a week.

“Care workers tell UNISON every single day they feel forgotten and let down massively.

“There’s still widespread confusion among workers and employers over what equipment they should have and continuing problems getting it in the first place.

“Carers are terrified they’ll contract the virus, spread it to service users or vulnerable family members.

“Public Health England has to urgently clarify its guidance for the care sector and the government has to get its act together immediately if we are to prevent more lives being lost needlessly.”

Notes to editors:

  • The ONS data up to week ending 17 April is available here.
  • The ONS figures show 516 reported deaths in the region’s care homes.
  • At the end of the previous week (10 April), ONS data showed 170 reported deaths in South East care homes.
  • County breakdowns are as follows: 
County Care Home C-19 deaths Total C-19 deaths
Berkshire 65 292
Buckinghamshire 67 256
East Sussex 34 160
Hampshire & IOW 67 442
Kent 71 425
Oxfordshire 85 206
Surrey 86 382
West Sussex 41 176
Total 516 2,339
  • UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

Media contacts:

Kieran Pearson T: 07432 741595 E: