Rise in care home deaths highlights shambolic govt. response to Covid crisis

Data published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics shows that more than a thousand deaths in care homes and in the community were registered up to 10 April.

In the South East alone, there have been 170 deaths in care homes as a result of Covid-19 with the highest number in Surrey (36).

Responding to these figures, UNISON South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said:

“This doubling in deaths is shocking evidence of the government’s shambolic handling of the Covid crisis.

“Staff working in care homes are making a heroic effort to care for people, but have been massively let down. The ongoing lack of protective kit has left many terrified they’ll spread this deadly virus or become infected themselves.

“There’s still widespread confusion among workers and their employers over what equipment they should have. Some staff are being told off for wearing masks, while others can’t even get hold of hand sanitiser, according to reports still coming into UNISON’s PPE alert hotline.

“The government has got to get its act together if we are to prevent more lives being needlessly lost.”

Notes to editors:

  • 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.
  • Data from ONS for each county of the South East is:

Care home deaths up to 10 April 2020
Berkshire 24
Buckinghamshire 28
East Sussex 10
Hampshire 17
Kent 16
Oxfordshire 27
Surrey 36
West Sussex 12

Media contacts: Kieran Pearson M: 07432 741595 E: k.pearson@unison.co.uk