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12 May 2020updated 04 Sep 2021 12:25pm

Care home deaths outstrip hospital deaths for first time, but are past their peak

By Michael Goodier

The number of people dying in care homes in England and Wales has outstripped hospital deaths for the first time this year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

During the week ending 1 May, 6,409 people died in English and Welsh care homes, triple the average number of care home deaths for this time of year.

In the same week, 6,397 people died in hospital. Over the past five years, an average of 4,652 people have died in hospital during the equivalent week.

Covid-19 appeared on the death certificate of 2,423 of the 6,409 care home deaths. Many of the remaining deaths are likely to relate to the outbreak in some way.

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The better news is that deaths in all settings, including care homes, were down in the week ending 1 May compared to the previous seven days. There were 7,911 deaths in care homes in the week ending 24 April, and 8,243 deaths in hospitals.

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Separate England-only figures from the Care Quality Commission this morning showed that the slight downward trend in care home deaths involving Covid-19 continued until at least 8 May.