Over 1,000 care home residents died suffering from malnutrition, dehydration or bedsores over the past five years, according to new figures.
The ONS data, which was revealed by The Guardian, shows 1,463 NHS, local authority and private care homes residents in England and Wales had one of the conditions noted on their death certificates.
Eileen Chubb, founder of Compassion in Care, said: “I would say these figures represent the tip of the iceberg. I don’t think most deaths of elderly people are examined properly enough, because people just expect old people to die.
“For people to die suffering with these conditions in this day and age, in a so-called civilised society, is scandalous.
“Often food is put in front of elderly care-home patients, but there simply aren’t enough staff to feed it to them.”
The figures reveal that between 2013 and 2017, dehydration was noted in 398 cases; malnutrition recorded 226 times; and bedsores 839 times. The conditions affected women almost twice as much as men, with females accounting for 1,005 of the deaths and males, 458.
The ONS said the data did not necessarily link the deaths to poor care but added that it could have been a factor in some occasions.
Earlier this week, a Guardian investigation revealed that some of the country’s worst care homes were run by providers who posted a combined pre-tax profit of £113m (see Providers with ‘inadequate’ care homes under fire over profits).