The number of people dying in care homes in England and Wales has continued to rise sharply in November.
There were a further 425 deaths in the week ending 13 November, a rise of 145 on the previous week, marking the biggest weekly jump since mid-June.
On a year-to-date basis, 16,849 people died with COVID symptoms up to the week ending 13 November.
Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes as a proportion of all deaths in care home increased from 12.0% to 17.4%.
CQC data revealed there were 16,105 notifications of deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19 between 10 April and 20 November.
Of these, 398 were notified in the week up to 20 November.
Care Inspectorate Wales reported 934 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19 between 1 March and 20 November.
Commenting on the steep rise in deaths, Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said: “We haven’t got the vaccine yet and this fight isn’t won. Looking forward yes, there is much to be positive about but in the meantime, we must step up our efforts to protect each other and particularly protect the most vulnerable.
“There is much talk of get togethers at Christmas, but we must proceed with caution. Nothing has changed, older and vulnerable people are still the most susceptible to COVID-19 and it is still spreading.”
Reflecting the steep rise in COVID deaths this month, care homes around the country continued to report outbreaks this month.
Leading care home operator Care UK confirmed 20 residents had sadly died after having testing COVID positive at its Caledonian Court care home in Falkirk in the last month.
Care UK said: “Our thoughts and condolences go out to their family and friends. Our team has been devastated by this loss, but remain professional and committed to supporting every resident, and each other, through this challenging time. We have had access to regular testing, are following very stringent infection prevention and control protocols and are working closely with NHS Forth Valley and Falkirk Heath and Social Care Partnership to minimise the risk of further infection.”
A further six COVID deaths were reported in the last month at Berkley Care Group’s Shinfield View Care Home in Reading.
Andrew Winstanley, CEO of Berkley Care Group, said: “While we will continue our stringent testing regime and strict infection protocol, please be assured we are doing everything we possibly can to contain the outbreak of this horrible virus. I would like to pay tribute at this time to the kindness, compassion and great understanding of not only our residents, but their families and friends.”