98% increase in care home deaths reveal desperate need for universal care home testing
“Startling” new care home death figures have revealed the “desperate need” for universal care home testing in Wales, Plaid Cymru’s Delyth Jewell MS has said.
New figures published today by Care Inspectorate Wales have report 2,165 deaths in adult care homes residents since the 1 March 2020 - 98% higher than the number of deaths reported for the same time period last year, and 61% higher than for the same period in 2018.
23% of all reported deaths were deaths with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Local Government Delyth Jewell MS said the increase of 98% was “deeply troubling” and showed the desperate need for universal care home testing in Wales.
Ms Jewell said care homes remained “hotspots” for the Coronavirus and that its residents should be “prioritised for care, not left behind”.
The Shadow Minister for Local Government “implored” the Welsh Government and Health Minister Vaughan Gething to “take heed” of the figures and to offer testing to staff and residents in all homes without distinction.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Local Government Delyth Jewell MS said,
“The startling increase of 98% in the number of adult care home deaths compared with the same last year is deeply troubling and shows how desperately important it is for the need for universal care home testing.
“Care homes are still hotspots for the virus. In these closed settings, vulnerable and elderly people live in close proximity and are arguably one of the most at-risk groups. They should have been prioritised for care, not left behind.
“Why then is the Welsh Government still refusing to test all care home residents and staff?
“The First Minister confirmed last week to questioning from Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price that testing can have clinical value in homes even without confirmed or suspected cases and that the current cut-off is arbitrary means there are many homes with fewer than 50 residents which could greatly benefit from testing but are still being denied this right.
“Furthermore, care home workers – who are often under-paid and overworked, have had statistically significantly higher rates of death involving Covid-19 than other types of workers. It’s a disgrace.
“I implore the Welsh Government and Health Minister to take heed of these figures and to offer testing to staff and residents in all homes without distinction. Please don’t leave our most vulnerable behind.