Tragic Covid-19 death toll in Milton Keynes care homes revealed
Total of 149 residents died due to coronavirus across Milton Keynes care homes according to new figures
A total of 149 residents died due to coronavirus across Milton Keynes care homes according to new figures published by the nation's care watchdog.
The Care Quality Commission has released figures on death notifications received from named homes for the first time in a bid for transparency, following earlier requests to share data.
More than 78,500 care home residents died in England between April 10 2020 and March 31 2021, with around 7,000 care homes registering at least one death related to coronavirus.
In Milton Keynes, 149 care home residents died as a result of Covid-19 during this period.
The highest number of deaths, 92, were recorded between April 10 and June 30 last year, during the early weeks of the pandemic.
Overall, 23 individual care homes in the area reported at least one Covid-19 related death.
The organisation said releasing the information earlier in the pandemic could have had a “serious impact on continuity of care” but it is doing so now as risks have changed.
It also stated deaths had decreased substantially across the country as the vaccine continues to be rolled out.
The data covers deaths of care home residents involving coronavirus, regardless of where the disease was contracted or where the death occurred.
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents independent care homes, said the figures must not be seen as an indication of quality.
He said: “It is important the statistics are seen in context and that the entire system learns lessons from this data.
“I would like to pay tribute to all the frontline staff who have done a heroic job and it must not be forgotten that many of them lost their lives too.”
The following care homes in Milton Keynes recorded five or more deaths in the year to the end of March:
Ashby House - Milton Keynes (7), Broomfield Residential Care (5), Burlington Hall Care Home (11), Castlemead Court Care Home (19), Caton House Residential and Nursing Home (5), Dovecote Manor Care Home (10), Kents Hill Care Home (7), Milton Court Care Home (9), Park House (6), The Willows Care Home (31), Waterhall Care Home (11) and Westbury Grange (5)
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said care homes that have been impacted the most nationally are generally in areas with high cases in the community.
She said: “It would be easy to assume that if a care home has experienced a large volume of Covid-19 deaths that must mean it’s not very good, but this would be unfair.
“This is more a tragic accident of geography than anything else.”
The CQC said infection control inspections were carried out throughout the pandemic and the body praised the efforts of care home staff.
Kate Terroni, CQC’s chief inspector for adult social care, called for “consideration and respect” to be shown to care home residents, their families, and staff.
She said: “We are grateful for the time that families who lost their loved ones during the pandemic have spent meeting with us and the personal experiences they have shared.
“These discussions have helped us shape our thinking around the highly sensitive issue of publishing information on the numbers of death notifications involving Covid-19 received from individual care homes.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said the Government has done "all it can" to protect vulnerable people in adult social care throughout the pandemic.
“We have provided billions of pounds to support the sector, including on infection and prevention control measures, free PPE, priority vaccinations and additional testing,” she added.