NHS Confederation - Radical reform needed in social care as figures show raised staff death rates

11 May 2020 02:24 PM

Yesterday, the Office of National Statistics has released figures into COVID-19-related deaths by occupation in England and Wales, which show that people working in social care have been twice as likely to die with coronavirus as the general working age population.

In response, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:

“There is a tragedy unfolding in care homes and these figures which show men particularly and women working in social care have significantly raised rates of death involving COVID-19 are extremely concerning.

“Radical reform is needed in order to keep care homes from being treated as second-class citizens. That means doing our utmost locally and nationally to support this vital provider of care, with the proper PPE, training and support in infection control, as well as adequate funding.

“While the figures suggest that healthcare workers were not found to have higher rates of deaths from the disease, the ONS points out that some staff may have had reduced exposure during lockdown, for example because of the lack of dental and optician appointments and so, continued analysis is vital.

“A fifth of workers in the highest exposure risk occupations are in black and minority ethnic communities, which may inform last week’s data which showed that some BME groups are at significantly greater risk of dying from the virus.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by occupation, England and Wales: deaths registered up to and including 20 April 2020