The ONS has reported a small increase in the number of people dying from COVID-19-related causes in care homes in England and Wales.
The news comes as the UK’s coronavirus alert level rose to ‘4’ meaning transmission is “high or rising exponentially” with PM Boris Johnson due to address the nation at 8pm this evening.
In its latest weekly update, the ONS said there were 27 COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales in the week ending 11 September, up from 17 in the previous week.
Year to data analysis shows there were 15,529 deaths in care homes in England and Wales up to the week ending 11 September.
Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes as a proportion of all deaths in care homes increased to 1.3% from 1.1% in the previous week.
CQC data showed there were 14,264 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19 in England between 10 April and 18 September with 32 notifications coming in the week to 11 September.
In Wales, there were 745 death notifications between 1 March and 11 September, Care Inspectorate Wales said.
Reacting to the latest ONS figures, Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, called for greater support for the sector ahead of a second wave of the virus.
“Unless local authorities and social care are properly supported to deal with the second wave, especially to look after people in their own homes, we will face the same kind of crisis that has cost many, many lives in care and nursing homes already,” Mike said.
The ICG chair said restrictions on the movement of care workers announced by the government meant more staff support was needed to get through the coming months.
He also highlighted testing problems and care homes once again being asked to take in COVID-19 patients, and warned of the dangers of “heading blindly into a repeat of the first phases of coronavirus over again”.