London: Covid-19 related deaths within the UK's care homes for the elderly and vulnerable doubled within just one week, according to data collected and analysed by a leading representative body for the not-for-profit adult social care sector.
The National Care Forum (NCF) report, released on Saturday, demonstrates 2,500 deaths within care homes within seven days, figures which it says highlights significant flaws in the current national reporting of coronavirus related death toll in the UK.
"It is hoped that this analysis will provide insight and impetus for the government to better address the needs of the care sector," the NCF said.
The group's research came as pressure mounts on the British government to start counting deaths within the wider community and care homes to its daily hospital toll figures, which hit 15,464 on this week.
Amid concerns that the national statistics presented by the government for coronavirus related mortality rates were not incorporating figures of deaths within residential and nursing homes, the NCF said it led an independent benchmarking exercise.
As many as 47 of its care provider members contributed to the audit, representing 1,169 care services that collectively support 30,217 people across the UK - 7.4 per cent of the overall residential care sector population. The resulting sample analysis suggests that a total of 4,040 people may have died of the deadly virus within UK residential and nursing services before April 13.
"The figure of more than 4,000 people passing away of Covid-19 within care homes in little more than one month is devastating. Every death is a loss and a tragedy," said Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum.