No Covid deaths in 50% of care homes 

  • But 152 homes saw more than 20 deaths
    44 people died in one Wigan care home

  • More than 18,000 deaths in the first wave
    But more than 13,000 in the second wave


AT LAST - The Care Quality Commission has finally published details today [21 July] of the care homes where people have died Covid-related deaths. It makes for very distressing reading. The CQC's long long list, shows more than 30,000 people died in about 7,000 care homes - homes where they were supposed to be safe and cared for, but where their relatives were not even allowed to visit them, for fear of bringing in the virus. 

But the virus was brought in by others, with devastating consequences. The regulator has repeatedly suggested there was nothing that could be done in the face of the pandemic. And the CQC's data shows more than 18,000 care home residents died in the 'first wave', when it can be argued the country still did not have much understanding of the virus. There were mistakes. People were discharged from hospitals into homes, without a Covid tests. It took a while before PPE was available and for care homes to introduce tough Covid procedures.


But why were there more than 13,000 deaths in the second wave, when homes should have had all the tough new procedures in place? 

Many homes had multiple deaths in both waves. Even if you accept these care homes were swept away by the first wave, although they are supposed to have stringent safety procedures in place as a matter of course, there can be no excuses, no claims that they were taken unawares by later waves. 

Worse, perhaps more shocking, is the fact that 50% of homes had no Covid deaths - as OLM reported earlier this year: not in the first wave, not in the second wave. So how were they able to do it? How were they able to protect their residents when so many could not? 

Looking down the list of homes with multiple deaths, I see the home where my father died. According to the CQC, it is 'Good' on all counts. It was not Good five years ago, although it was rated as such, and it certainly is not Good now, after 23 Covid deaths - the second highest number in the county. And yet they charge private residents more than £1,500 a week for 'care'. The trouble is, they don't care. 

This pandemic has exposed many inequalities and inequities. It has also exposed a failing care home system and a useless care home regulator.