Care home deaths expose social care system ‘unfit for purpose’, says UNISON

Figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics show almost 1,000 care home deaths in the South West linked to coronavirus up to 8 May.

In Bristol, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, COVID-19 deaths in care homes now exceed deaths from coronavirus in hospitals.

The weekly increase in care home deaths is also higher than the increase in hospital deaths for the third week running across the South West.

UNISON regional secretary Joanne Kaye said:

“These figures are a harrowing insight to the price being paid by elderly and vulnerable people whose families believed they were being kept safe.

“Staff looking after care home residents have in many ways been abandoned. They’ve struggled for months with personal protective equipment shortages, testing delays and inadequate guidance on how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

“The COVID-19 crisis has exposed a social care system that is simply unfit for purpose. A complete overhaul is needed once the pandemic passes to ensure no one is left unprotected again.”