Covid-19: Official figures “underestimate” deaths caused by discharging patients into care homes

The UK government has admitted that its policy during the early stages of the covid-19 pandemic to have patients moved from hospitals to care homes may have directly led to subsequent deaths.

Outbreaks of the virus could potentially be linked to the policy, says a report from Public Health England (PHE), because patients were not always tested for covid before being moved, a requirement that was introduced in mid-April last year.

Experts say that the report is limited, however, in terms of what it measured and that it probably significantly underestimates the policy’s impact on deaths in care homes.

The chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said at a government covid press briefing last week that the study indicated that the policy of discharging hospital patients had had a limited impact on outbreaks in care homes. “This report showed that discharge from hospitals was actually a very, very tiny proportional cause of cases: 1.6% of all care home outbreaks,” she said.

Read in the BMJ (Adrian O’Dowd) how experts have questioned this interpretation…

Sourced from The BMJ: https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n1415

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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