Speaking during the government’s daily briefing yesterday deputy scientific adviser Angela McLean said the UK had to “get to grips” with the rising number of care home deaths.
The number of people dying in care homes with COVID-19 symptoms has risen to half the level of those dying in hospital, the scientific expert said.
Ms McLean said: “Whilst deaths in hospitals have been falling, deaths in care homes in the week to April 24 were still rising to the extent that in that week deaths in care homes were about half as many as the deaths in all hospitals.
“I think what that shows us is that there is a real issue that we need to get to grips with about what is happening in care homes.”
The latest ONS figures show that more than a fifth (5,890) COVID-related deaths took place in care homes up to April 24.
The ONS added that COVID-19 related fatalities were on the rise in care homes and in recent days had accounted for over a third of overall deaths.
Independent Care Group chair, Mike Padgham said: “We desperately need more government support and we need it now or we won’t be able to get on top of this pandemic in our homes.
“We need to see more urgency in testing, we need to see better and quicker access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and we need to see some financial support getting to the front line care providers who are struggling to survive.
“We need the government to get its act together. But in our county, North Yorkshire County Council and the ICG are not waiting for that support and are working together to develop our own support for care providers on the front line.”