A third of COVID-19 deaths in the South West this year have occured in care homes across the region, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.
579 deaths were recorded in care homes in January, the stats show.
Joanne Kaye, UNISON South West regional secretary said:
“We’re almost a year into the global pandemic, there are no excuses for the rising care home death toll in the South West.
“The figures represent another 579 families who have lost loved ones, many of whom will have had very little chance to see their relatives over the past year.
“It is vital that care staff are properly looked after and protected from the virus so they can properly look after residents. That means ensuring that staff are fully paid when they have to self-isolate or take time off with COVID-19.”
“The government set aside money to allow local councils to implement better pay and protection for care workers, but we know this isn’t getting to care workers.”