Coronavirus causes quarter of all deaths in care homes, data shows

15 May 2020, 10:24 | Updated: 15 May 2020, 10:30

Around 12,500 care home residents have died of coronavirus in England and Wales.
Around 12,500 care home residents have died of coronavirus in England and Wales. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Coronavirus is responsible for more than a quarter of all deaths in care homes since the start of the UK's Covid-19 outbreak, new data shows.

Just over one in four deaths of care home residents in England and Wales between March 2 and May 1 involved Covid-19, according to new analysis by the Office for National Statistics.

There were 45,899 deaths of care home residents during this period, of which 12,526 (27 per cent) were deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, whether as the underlying cause or not.

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Among these 12,526 deaths, 9,039 (72 per cent) occurred within a care home. A further 3,444 (27 per cent) occurred within a hospital.

The ONS also found that Covid-19 was the leading cause of death for male care home residents in England and Wales during the period March 2 to May 1, accounting for 30.3 per cent of deaths.

It was the second leading cause of death in female care home residents, after dementia and Alzheimer's disease, accounting for 23.5 per cent of deaths.

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Of all hospital deaths involving Covid-19 during this period, 14.6 per cent were accounted for by care home residents.

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The ONS figures show that since March there has been an increase both in deaths involving Covid-19 and those not involving Covid-19 among care home residents.

The total number of deaths of care home residents in England and Wales up to May 1 this year (and registered up to May 9) was 73,180. This was 23,136 more than the same period last year.

The ONS notes that while 12,526 of these deaths mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, the rest of these "excess deaths" were not linked to Covid-19.

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