Care home deaths during the pandemic were 19.5% above the five-year average, the ONS has revealed.
In new analysis, the ONS said there were 173,974 deaths of care home residents wherever the death occurred in England and Wales between 20 March 2020 and 2 April 2021, compared with the five-year average of 145,560 deaths. COVID-19 accounted for 24.3% of these deaths (42,341).
The ONS said deaths of care home residents increased sharply in wave one, however, there was a higher proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 in wave two (25.7% compared with 23.1%).
The ONS cautioned against comparing the two waves, however, since the higher proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 in wave two could be attributed to undiagnosed COVID-19 cases in the first wave.
In terms of total deaths of care home residents, these rose significantly higher above the five-year average in wave one (27,079 excess deaths) than in wave two (1,335 excess deaths).
The ONS said this may have been because of delayed access to care services and rapid testing during wave one and lower care home occupancy, vaccine availability and mortality displacement in wave two.
COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in male care home residents during the first and second wave, while Dementia and Alzheimer disease was the leading cause of death in female care home residents.
Dementia and Alzheimer disease was the most common pre-existing condition found among deaths due to COVID-19 in both male and female care home residents in wave one and wave two.