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Over 28,000 people receiving home care died during pandemic

20 May 2021

Over 25,000 people in England and over 3,000 people in Scotland who were receiving care in their homes (domiciliary care) have died during the pandemic according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

ONS figures suggest that deaths in England increased by nearly 50% and in Scotland by around 70% between April last year to March this year, compared with the year before. This compares with an increase of 22% in the wider population in England.

Although recorded deaths have soared, less than 10% were Covid-related, although some hotspots in England show rates of around 20%.

The data shows very wide regional differences in deaths across England. In this, it appears to reflect the fragmented, complex home care system, where care can be delivered through one of almost 19,000 providers, including agencies, non-profits, councils, NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Care Quality Commission data shows that deaths of adults in home care more than doubled in 38 council areas in England. Ten local authorities recorded triple the usual rates of deaths.

DR UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi told the Bureau: “The dramatic increase in deaths of people receiving domiciliary care during the pandemic appears to be truly shocking. It is very important that the figures are further analysed.

“Disabled and older people receiving care at home can often be very isolated and forgotten by the world around them. The everyday challenges they face are largely invisible and it is time we put a spotlight on their experiences during the pandemic.”

Read more here.