No slowdown in the devastation in our region’s care homes, says UNISON

Responding to new figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics showing care home deaths linked to coronavirus have increased in the South East Region by more than 480 in a week, UNISON South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said:

“There’s clearly no major slowdown in the devastation being caused in care homes, causing heartache for so many families. Not only those of vulnerable residents, but care workers who have suffered high death rates.

“Much as we all hope it’s the case, a minor drop from last week’s figures is not sufficient to say that we are past the peak of the pandemic in our care homes.”

“This all underlines why any hastily announced return to work for more people must be managed safely to avoid key workers being exposed to the virus as they travel, which could put further lives at risk.

“It remains vital that care workers are given sustained supplies of proper safety kit to stop the spread within homes. And the government now has to put in place an effective system of testing, tracking and tracing as quickly as possible.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON has launched a petition demanding the government step up and deliver on its promises around PPE and do much more to protect care staff and elderly people.

– ONS figures for registered deaths due to Covid-19 show in the South East up to 1 May 2020 show the following for the region’s counties:

County Care homes Total
Berkshire 192 555
Buckinghamshire 158 430
East Sussex 99 300
Hampshire & IOW 300 900
Kent 197 847
Oxfordshire 194 389
Surrey 223 742
West Sussex 150 374
Total 1,513 4,537

Media contacts:– 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 the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Kieran Pearson M: 07432 741595  Ek.pearson@unison.co.uk
National Press Office E: press@unison.co.uk