Coronavirus: 27 care home deaths in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire

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There were 27 deaths involving Covid-19 in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire care homes between April 10 and April 24, the Office for National Statistics has said.

The number of hospital deaths involving the virus in each area, including in the county’s hospitals, has been known for weeks, with data published daily.

And on Tuesday data on the number of deaths in England’s care homes reported to the Care Quality Commission was published by the ONS.

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The Care Quality Commission said the death toll in care homes nationwide has been “devastating”.

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There was one death involving Covid-19 in a care home in Cambridgeshire up to April 10 – in Huntingdonshire – according to ONS figures.

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The latest information shows there have been 10 deaths involving Covid-19 in Peterborough and 17 in the rest of Cambridgeshire between April 10 and 24.

The ONS said the figures may be an underestimate due to notification delays.

The figures are for people “who were resident in and died in a care home”.

Nationally, there were 4,343 such deaths in the same period. Hampshire had more deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes than any other area, with 145 deaths, or 183 including its largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth.

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The next worst affected areas were Surrey and Hertfordshire where 121 people died in care homes in the same period in each county, then Gloucestershire with 100, Kent with 95 and then Oxfordshire with 90 deaths. Those figures are not necessarily complete totals for each county, as unitary authorities – which tend to be found in larger cities, such as Peterborough in Cambridgeshire – may not be included in each case.

The CQC said: “In addition to deaths which are directly attributable to Covid-19, there has been a significant rise in non-Covid-19 deaths. This is of particular concern and the CQC will be exploring the factors that may be driving this with adult social care trade associations, DHSC, PHE and NHSE, to ensure timely action is taken to safeguard people. This work will also inform the ONS’ longer-term research project on non-Covid-19 deaths during the pandemic.”

In the same period, there were a total of 40 deaths in care homes in Peterborough and 101 in the rest of Cambridgeshire attributed to all causes of death.

The data also shows the date of recorded deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes in England. The day with the most deaths was April 20 with 541, followed by April 21 with 499 and April 14 with 412. There were 380 deaths in care homes on the last day of reported figures, April 24.

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The CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, Kate Terroni, said: “Every death in today’s figures represents an individual tragedy for those who have lost a loved one – and for those who cared for them.

“We will continue to support care home managers as they do everything they can to keep people safe, but it is clear that more support is needed, from every part of the system, as social care staff go to extraordinary lengths to protect those in their care.”

Ben Hatton, Local Democracy Reporting Service