36 care home deaths with Covid-19 recorded in Wigan in three-week period, new data shows
and live on Freeview channel 276
The latest figures are for deaths involving the disease in residential or nursing facilities between April 10 and May 1 and have been released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figures have been released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and cover residents who were living in a home and whose lives ended there.
However, while each one of the 36 deaths is an individual human tragedy the statistics do show that in this period covering most of April Wigan was not as badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as other parts of Greater Manchester.
The borough’s figure, which was the same as that recorded in Bury, was the third lowest among the 10 unitary authorities which make up Greater Manchester.
Only Trafford, with 30, and Rochdale, with 22, had fewer care home deaths recorded involving Covid-19 between April 10 and May 1.
The worst-hit part of the region was Stockport, with 59 recorded deaths with the disease in nursing or residential facilities.
The figures released on Tuesday give the most accurate picture so far of how care homes have fared in trying to tackle the public health emergency.
Much attention has focused on the plight of care homes as when the coronavirus pandemic began the sector was not comprehensively covered in the official stats, which initially recorded hospital deaths and confirmed cases by local authority on a daily basis.
The new care homes figures cover deaths which the CQC was notified of between the two dates, with information having had to be passed to the watchdog by May 1 in order to be included in the statistics.
That does mean the numbers may be an underestimation if there were delays in getting information about deaths to the CQC.
It has also been pointed out that the latest figures are provisional and could be subject to further changes.
In total there were 6,391 deaths in care homes with Covid-19 recorded in England between April 10 and May 1.
A separate ONS release showed there were 287 deaths in care homes in Wigan irrespective of cause this year up to April 24.
There were also 661 recorded deaths in hospital, 303 at home, 73 in hospices, one in another communal establishment and 24 occurring elsewhere in that time period.
The CQC and Care England have both said the ONS data shows the importance of ensuring care home staff have the equipment and resources they need to keep residents safe.
Both organisations have also praised the work being done in the sector during the coronavirus pandemic.