|David Bell (University of Stirling), David Henderson (Edinburgh Napier University, Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research), Elizabeth Lemmon, (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Health Economics) and Mirko Moro (University of Stirling)
- As with other parts of the UK, COVID-19 has caused a significant increase in deaths in Scotland, particularly amongst older individuals.
- Scotland’s care home sector has not expanded in response to demographic change: rather the focus of care provision has moved to care at home.
- Many of the characteristics of the care home sector in Scotland are similar to those in the rest of the UK.
- The COVID-19 epidemic has spread to the majority of Scotland’s care homes.
- The impact of COVID-19 on deaths in care homes lagged those in hospitals but have now surpassed deaths in all other settings.
- Although the total number of deaths is now declining, the share of care home deaths in the total continues to increase.
- Almost all COVID-19 related deaths of care home residents (between weeks 12 and 22) have occurred within the care home (91%). The remainder occurred in hospital (9%). This is in stark contrast to England, where 29% of COVID-19 related deaths of care home residents occurred in hospital (between weeks 12 and 17).
- Excess mortality during the pandemic has been high in all settings in Scotland but has been particularly high in care homes.
- Non-COVID deaths in hospital settings have declined during the pandemic, which may be the result of re-orienting hospital activity towards dealing with the immediate crisis. Increased deaths in other settings, including care homes, may have been the consequence.
- Whereas care homes have been particularly affected by COVID-19, there has also been significant excess deaths attributed to causes other than COVID-19 outside hospitals and care homes. Specifically, there have been 616 non-COVID “excess deaths” in care homes and 1,320 such deaths outside care homes and hospitals.
- There is a significant lack of information on how COVID-19 has affected those individuals who are receiving LTC services at home. In 2017 (the most up to date figure available), around 47,070 people aged 65+ were receiving personal care in their homes. Currently, there is no information available on how many of these clients have died either directly or indirectly from COVID-19.