The CQC has announced it is to publish data on notifications of COVID-19 deaths in individual care homes in England.
In a statement on Friday, the regulator said the data, which is in addition to the statistics it publishes on a weekly basis with the ONS, will cover the period from 10 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
The CQC said: “We made a commitment to publish data on location level death notifications as soon as we were able to do so accurately and safely. We can now confirm that we are working towards bringing this data to our Public Board meeting on 21 July 2021, with publication on the CQC website later the same day.”
Providers are to be given advanced notice of the information they have provided so that conversations can be held with residents and their families.
As well as including the number of death notifications relating to COVID-19 in every care home in England, the data will cover death notifications per local authority.
The CQC added: “Throughout the pandemic, we have encouraged care providers to be transparent with people in their care and their loved ones, and we know that most providers have done all they can to ensure that information about the circumstance of peoples’ death is shared appropriately.
“The only factor that would prevent publication on 21 July is if an issue with data quality emerges during the quality assurance process. While we currently have no reason to believe this might be the case, we will delay publication if we have any concerns about the accuracy of the data. We are acutely aware that every single number represents an individual life lost to COVID-19 and we have a responsibility to represent these figures – and these lives – as accurately as possible.”
COVID-19 related deaths data for care homes in Scotland was published last month.
The CQC previously refused to share its care home deaths data following an FOI request by the BBC, a decision that was supported by the Information Commissioner’s Office in May.
The decision has been made to publish the data in July due to the improving situation in care homes and high numbers of people vaccinated.