The number of COVID-19 related care home deaths in England and Wales has increased for the second week running in September, according to the latest official data.
In its latest weekly release, the ONS said the number of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes rose to 31 in the week ending 18 September from 27 in the previous week. The small rise marks the second consecutive weekly increase in COVID-19 deaths in care homes.
Year-to-date analysis shows there were 15,562 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes up to 18 September.
Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes as proportion of all deaths in care homes increased from 1.3% to 1.6% in the week.
CQC data shows there were 14,297 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19 between 10 April and 25 September, with 33 notifications occurring in the week to 18 September.
Care Inspectorate Wales reported 745 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19 between 1 March and 18 September.
The small rise in COVID-19 care home deaths comes as infection cases continue to rise significantly with large parts of the UK in lockdown.
A further 4,044 positive tests and 13 COVID-19 deaths were reported yesterday with the total number of deaths in the UK at 42,001.
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group (ICG), said a clearer message was needed on lockdown, arguing the government had been too quick to ease restrictions and too slow to reimpose them. The ICG chair highlighted how some areas were still allowing care home visits, whereas others were not.
“In my view we need some action and some clarity,” Mike said. “Are we going to have a full lockdown for a short period to try to nip this in the bud or are we going to continue with the piecemeal geographical lockdowns that I feel are causing more confusion than good?
“We need more clarity and we need more support, particularly in terms of getting testing. If we could test relatives, for example, we might be able to get back to visiting again, but there is not the capacity to do that at the moment.”