Estimates of number of deaths of care home residents linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in England

Adelina Comas-Herrera and Jose-Luis Fernández (Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science)

17th May 2020

New report estimating the mortality impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who live in care homes in England.

Key findings:

  • Data on deaths in care homes directly attributed to COVID-19 underestimate the impact of the pandemic on care home residents, as they do not take account of indirect mortality effects of the pandemic and/or because of problems with the identification of the disease as the cause of death.
  • Not all care home residents die in care homes. According to ONS data, 13% of all deaths of care home residents took place in hospitals (28% of residents whose deaths were linked to COVID died in hospitals).
  • The number of registered COVID-19 deaths among care home residents in England only accounts for an estimated 54% of all excess deaths in care homes (compared to same period in 2019).
  • Total excess mortality taking place in care homes since 28th December is estimated to be 19,319 (48% of all excess mortality in England), and excess mortality among care home residents was 22,231, 55% of all excess mortality in England.
  • This short report has been updated since the first version of the 12th of May, as the ONS published more detailed data on care home residents on the 15th May. A more detailed analysis of the new data published by ONS will be added soon.

“Excess mortality” among care home residents in England between 2nd March and 1st May (compared to same period in 2019) and number of deaths of care home residents linked to COVID-19.

Source: own calculation based on data from the ONS (see report for details)

3 thoughts on “Estimates of number of deaths of care home residents linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in England”

  1. Not to mention huge pressure on families from GPs and paramedics to agree that a resident should be ‘not to be admitted to hospital’.

  2. Are the excess deaths in all care homes or just the ones with coronavirus infections? I understand that 2/3rds have not Covid19.

    1. The excess deaths are for all care homes in total, and yes, 36% of care homes had confirmed COVID-19 infections

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