1,000 care home deaths show “shambolic” response, says UNISON

Elliot Chappell

UNISON has said that the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealing over 1,000 Covid-19 care home deaths show that the Covid-19 response has been “shambolic”.

Following the publication of new statistics today, general secretary Dave Prentis expressed serious concern about the number of coronavirus deaths registered in care homes and the community up to April 10th.

The trade unions leader slammed the government for the lack of personal protective equipment provided to healthcare staff working in care homes and argued that workers had been “massively let down”.

Commenting on the Office for National Statistics data, Prentis said: “This doubling in deaths is shocking evidence of the government’s shambolic handling of the Covid crisis.

“Staff working in care homes and those looking after people in the community have been massively let down. The ongoing lack of protective kit has left many terrified they’ll spread this deadly virus or become infected themselves.

“There’s still widespread confusion among workers and their employers over what equipment they should have. Some staff are being told off for wearing masks, while others can’t even get hold of hand sanitiser, according to reports still coming into UNISON’s PPE alert hotline.”

He added: “The government has got to get its act together if we are to prevent more lives being needlessly lost.”

The intervention follows publication of the latest official figures from the UK’s data watchdog today, which showed that the number of care home deaths had quadrupled in a week to reach 1,043.

The data shows that more people are dying in care homes than the government had previously told the public, but the figures are still far lower than the estimates put forward by the providers themselves.

After analysing data from care home providers that look after over 30,000 people across the UK, the National Care Forum estimated that more than 4,000 people had died in care homes as a result of coronavirus.

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