Posted: Wed 6th May 2020

Over 400 coronavirus related deaths in Welsh care homes according to new Welsh Government figures

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 6th, 2020


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We were reminded on Tuesday of the devastating impact COVID-19 is having in Wales when it was announced the country had passed a “sombre milestone” with a 1000 deaths from the virus.  

Reflecting on the news, health minister Vaughan Gething said: “COVID-19 has now taken over 1000 lives in Wales. This isn’t just a number, but a sombre milestone, and a stark reminder of what we are collectively fighting for.

So I’d like to pause for a moment and to reflect and think of those families who are grieving for the loss of a loved one.”

Figures published on Tuesday by Public Health Wales (PHW) show the total number of people who have succumbed to COVID-19 Wales has reached 1,024.

However, the figure is far from straight forward, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, Wales passed the grim 1000 death milestone several weeks ago. 

ONS figures – also published data on Tuesday – show the number of deaths involving COVID-19 in Wales – up to April 24 – was 1,376.

That’s because not all deaths* in adult care home settings are included in PHW updates, these are figures we see banded around daily in ‘BREAKING NEWS’ type press headlines.

The Welsh Government quietly published another data set on Tuesday titled: “Notifications of deaths of residents related to COVID-19 in adult care homes: 1 March to 1 May 2020.”

These figures are based on the “Notifications of Service User Deaths” received by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) from adult care homes which relate to their residents. 

“The location of death may be in the care home, in hospital or another location”, the release states. 

The Welsh Government said it was publishing the data “to ensure access to the CIW data is transparent and to provide a timely indication of trends for all deaths to care home residents in Wales, from COVID-19 or otherwise. 

“However CIW are reliant on providers notifying them and being able to provide an indication that they are COVID-19 related deaths. 

ONS data published on Tuesday also includes care home deaths where COVID-19 was a factor according to the death certificate but they report higher numbers than CIW. 

“We will continue to work with CIW and ONS to explore the quality of these data.” The Welsh Government notes.

CIW has been notified of 1,892 deaths in adult care homes residents since the 1 March 2020, this covers deaths from all causes, not just COVID-19.

This is 92 per cent higher than the number of deaths reported for the same time period last year, and 50 per cent higher than for the same period in 2018.

“Notifications of Service User Deaths” received by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

CIW has been notified of 418 care home resident deaths with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, that makes up 22 per cent of all reported adult care home deaths.

Of those, 126 deaths were confirmed to involve COVID-19 and 292 suspected to involve COVID-19.

The first suspected COVID-19 death notified to CIW was on March 16, which occurred in a hospital setting.

The first death in Wales attributed to COVID-19 was recorded in Wrexham on March 16.

According to the CIW data, 45 care home residents have died in North Wales as a result (or suspected) of COVID-19.

Of those, seven care home residents in Flintshire have succumbed to COVID-19 according to CIW.  

*Hospitalised patients or care home residents where COVID-19 has been confirmed with a positive laboratory test and the clinician suspects this was a causative factor in the death are included in PHW figures.

 

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