8,000 more people than normal have died in their homes during pandemic, figures show as patients avoid hospital because of fear of contracting coronavirus
- At home, 8,196 more people died than on the five-year average
- Experts fear that patients avoid the hospital for fear of contracting Covid-19
- BMA chief has warned that people ‘risk their condition getting worse’
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Since the pandemic started, about 8,000 more Britons have died at home than usual, with 80 percent dying from conditions unrelated to Covid-19.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that there are 8,196 more deaths at home in England, Wales and Scotland compared to the five-year average for this time of the year, including 6,546 non-covidal deaths.
The scares have led some experts to suggest that people refuse to be treated in wards because of their circumstances, for fear of contracting coronavirus.
Instead of dying in the hospital, they say, they die at home.
Dr. Chaand Nagpaul of the British Medical Association (BMA) told The Guardian: “Referrals from general practitioners are not accepted unless in many cases serious medical conditions and routine examinations are not available to support the diagnosis.
Since the onset of the pandemic, about 8,000 more Britons have died at home than normal, with 80 percent dying from conditions unrelated to Covid-19 (photo, in Hampshire)
Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, Chairman of the Board of the British Medical Association (BMA)
Doctors returned elderly patients to nursing homes despite KNOWING they had coronavirus, but did not tell staff and caused new outbreaks
By Sophie Borland for the Daily Mail
Hospitals may have broken the law by returning patients with Covid-19 to care homes without telling their managers they had the virus.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been informed that several hospitals have returned people despite suspicion – or even knowledge – that they were infected.
Tragically, these patients caused outbreaks in the homes and claimed the lives of other vulnerable residents. Care home staff would not have realized they had the virus and may not have worn adequate protective clothing or taken other infection control precautions.
The CQC is investigating several cases after nursing home managers informed her that hospitals had discharged patients to their premises without telling them they had the disease.
Kate Terroni, the superintendent of the adult social care watchdog, said, “We have heard of a few incidents where this has happened and it has caused infections to spread to other residents in the nursing home.”
“This means that many sick patients don’t get the care they so badly need now – and crucially, with the risk of their condition getting worse and some even dying as a result. These numbers underscore that the devastation caused by Covid-19 extends far beyond the immediate effects of the disease itself. ‘
Analysis by The Guardian shows that the number of deaths in care homes in England and Wales in the week to April 24 was 3.1 times higher than normal.
Deaths in private homes and in hospitals were 1.5 times higher than normal.
There were 23,583 deaths in people’s homes in the past seven weeks, compared to the five-year average of 16,794. Of the additional 6,789 fatalities, one in four was attributed to coronavirus. This leaves 5,355 redundant non-coronavirus-related deaths.
Data from Scotland show that there were 3,453 deaths in homes and non-institutional institutions in the seven weeks to May 3, compared to 2,046 in a normal year. However, of the other deaths, only 216 were related to the coronavirus. This means that there were 1,191 deaths.
In England and Wales, 32,633 deaths were registered in nursing homes – more than twice as expected at this time of the year. Again, only 6,815 of the remaining deaths were related to coronavirus.
This leaves 10,148 deaths where Covid-19 was not listed on the death certificate.
Although there were 597 deaths in the Scottish care homes in the seven weeks to May 3, these are lower than the rate of coronavirus-related deaths.
Jason Oke of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at Oxford University told The Guardian that “people die from other causes that would not have happened under normal circumstances.”
He described these people as “collateral damage from the lockdown”.
Figures for England and Wales are based on the date of occurrence rather than the record date. In Scotland, they are based on the record date.