On May 12th, the Office of National Statistics released its monthly total of deaths in Care homes, England & Wales. These were used by the Leader of the Opposition Keir Stormer to challenge the Prime Minister at Question Time. He stated:   

        * 40% of all C19 deaths had been in care homes, and

  • There had been 26,ooo deaths in April, whereas on average for the previous three years there had been 8000 deaths: so there were an excess of 18,000 deaths. He accepted that eight thousand of these were cue to C19, but what about the other ten thousand? (5 mins of video) 

  • The PM admitted that there had been ‘a terrible epidemic’ in care homes. Mr Stormer regretted that the PM had no answer, as to what were the extra ten thousand ‘unexplained deaths’.

  • The PM reckoned that the UK was going though an ‘unprecedented once-in-a-century epidemic. 

  • Keir Starmer quoted an unnamed cardiologist in The Telegraph: ‘We discharged known, suspected and unknown cases into care homes which were unprepared with no formal warning that patients were infected, no testing available and no PPE to prevent transmission. We actively seeded this into the very population that was most vulnerable.’ (4 minutes of video)

An answer at least in part to the mystery of ten thousand deaths appeared on the 12th May as an article in The Telegraph, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard based on a email he had received from “Covid cardiologist at a top London hospital.” This stated:  

“Our policy was to let the virus rip and then ‘cocoon the elderly. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry when you contrast that with what we actually did. We discharged known, suspected, and unknown cases into care homes which were unprepared, with no formal warning that the patients were infected, no testing available, and no PPE to prevent transmission. We actively seeded this into the very population that was most vulnerable.

“We let these people die without palliation. The official policy was not to visit care homes – and they didn’t (and still don’t). So, after infecting them with a disease that causes an unpleasant ending, we denied our elders access to a doctor – denied GP visits – and denied admission to hospital. Simple things like fluids, withheld. Effective palliation like syringe drivers, withheld.”

(this was where Mr Starmer had quoted from). Before this on 10th May Dominic Lawson wrote in the The Times  about ‘This care Home Carnage Shames the Nation.’ The average age of those dying in those care homes is about 75 he stated.  NHS guidance had made it explicit that patients should be discharged to care homes in order to free up hospital capacity for an anticipated surge in cases. Elderly patients were diagnosed with coronavirus by NHS and sent back into care homes.

MG:  Excess deaths can be explained by the denial of the usual life prolonging care normally received during their extended stays in hospitals.  For care home patients, these stays have been cut short, for various reasons discussed in the video, including policy decisions not to treat and the encouragement of DNR statements.  These elderly co-morbid patients, having “tested positive for covid-19” are then discharged back their care homes, where they inevitably die from their underlying causes, just as they would have in hospital under normal circumstances.  The point is made in the discussion that at some point in the future, there will be a corresponding reduction in overall morbidity simply because these deaths had occurred earlier.

I have not understood where the figure of 26,000 comes from:  https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/numberofdeathsincarehomesnotifiedtothecarequalitycommissionengland