Commenting on the confirmation from Downing Street that 38% of care homes in England have had reported a suspected outbreak of symptomatic or confirmed coronavirus, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“It is wrong to suggest that the coronavirus outbreak within care homes has arisen from transferring large number of patients from hospitals. Hospitals have been doing all they can to care for patients and we must not pit one public service against the other.
“In reality, the number of patients discharged to care homes has been lower during the pandemic than in the same period last year. Indeed, in England fewer than one in 20 of those discharged from hospitals went to care homes.
“The tragedy in care homes has been repeated in many jurisdictions, with the percentage of total deaths associated with Covid-19 high in Belgium (53%), Canada (62%), France (51%) and Ireland (60%) as well as in England (27%) and Scotland (39%).
“In England it is clear that more should have been done to support care homes and home care with access to funds, PPE and training, as well as staff and resident testing. The staff are grossly underpaid and too often have been left to cope with little training or support in the most challenging of circumstances. The enhanced package recently announced by the Government is welcome but when this is over we need a fundamental review, parity of esteem for social care, and the creation of seamless service which embraces health and care.”
- Source for figure about 1 in 20 discharges from hospitals to care homes: Latest SUS sample data for hospital-reported discharges from hospital to care homes
- Source for England figures of care home deaths attributed to Covid-19.
- Source for international care home death comparison.