All-cause England care home deaths rise by 19 per cent

Deaths in care homes in England from all causes between March and September were almost 19 per cent higher than the five-year average, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

There was a total of 28,402 deaths in care homes registered between 14 March and 11 September, up 5,340 on the average over the corresponding period between 2015 and 2019.

Male deaths were up 333 to 4,536, a rise of 7.9 per cent, while female deaths climbed 5,007 to  23,866 – an increase of 26.5 per cent.

Deaths for females from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased by 32 per cent to 16,034 – up 3,890 over the five-year average. The biggest killer for males in care homes was heart disease, which accounted for 1,304 deaths.

In Wales, there was a similar level of increase in all-cause deaths in care homes.

There was a total of 1,443 deaths in Welsh care homes registered between 14 March and 11 September, up 278 on the average over the corresponding period between 2015 and 2019 – an increase of 19.2 per cent.

The ONS said deaths in care homes have mostly remained below the five-year average since Week 25 (week ending 19 June) with some increases in recent weeks.

“While deaths in hospitals and care homes have dropped below the five-year average since the initial peak of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve consistently seen deaths in private homes remain well above the five-year average,” said head of mortality analysis Sarah Caul.

"We have seen an overall increase of deaths as well as a redistribution of various causes of death. Unlike the high numbers of deaths involving Covid-19 in hospitals and care homes, the majority of deaths in private homes are unrelated to Covid-19," she added.