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19 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Lunchtime summary: A grim milestone

By Samuel Horti

The number of extra deaths during the pandemic compared to what would normally be expected has topped 50,000 in the UK, official figures released today have shown. While it’s a grim milestone to reach, the Office for National Statistics figures show that the death rate has slowed in all settings, including care homes.

Meanwhile, care home experts have spent the morning warning MPs about a continued shortage of personal protective equipment and failures of the government’s testing scheme. Some tests for care home staff have gone missing, they said, and staff are not being tested often enough. Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, criticised the lack of a joined-up approach between the NHS and the care sector, and said Public Health England “does not understand the social care workforce”. You can read through our live coverage of the health and social care select committee meeting here.

Lastly, claims for unemployment benefits in the UK jumped 69 per cent in April, the biggest rise on record. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits reached 2.1 million in April, the highest figure since 1996.

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