Over 10, 000 Unexplained Deaths In UK Care Homes

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The deaths being reported in care homes have been a source of concern and confusion for a number of weeks.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is right to say a large number of deaths are unaccounted for.

During April the number of people dying in care homes effectively trebled. But less than a third of the total deaths seen have been attributed to coronavirus.

That leaves 10,000 deaths unexplained – as the Labour leader pointed out.

There are a number of possible explanations for these.

They could be coronavirus cases that have been under-reported – the lack of testing in care homes may mean doctors missed the presence of the virus when they filled in the death certificates.

They could be “indirect deaths” related to the fact that residents have been unable to get care for other conditions, such as heart disease.

Finally, some are likely to be people who in previous years would have been taken to hospital to die but were kept in care homes – the ONS data also shows that the number of non-coronavirus deaths in hospital have actually fallen.

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