Government review of care home winter plan based on terrible error or deliberate lie about successes last year

Claim of a reduction in care home deaths last winter compared to spring does not stack up

Government has published a winter plan for care homes with plans for interventions for this winter in care homes including ipads as a proposal to replace human contact. The entire document is based on the premise that interventions in winter prevented deaths in care homes based on claims made in a review of last year’s winter plan. No data supports this notion. The Government report is either based on a terrible error or a deliberate lie.

In actual fact, the percentage of care home deaths that were attributed to covid was higher in winter than in spring unlike the trajectory for overall deaths (in whole population) which peaked at a similar level.

Figure 1: Graph of care home covid deaths as a proportion of total care home deaths each week

A deep analysis by HART of the figures reported for care home deaths shows that interventions attempted last winter to reduce the impact on this vulnerable population had no beneficial effect compared to spring 2020.

In spring 2020, minimal changes had been made to how care homes were run and many had no PPE. The fact that the same proportion of covid deaths occurred as would be expected based on rates of symptoms and seroprevalence in the community indicates that none of the interventions put in place over winter had an impact. These restrictions were brought in without any discussion with residents and have had a hugely detrimental effect on the quality of the short amount of life left for these care home residents. There is no denying that covid presents an increased mortality risk for care home residents, particularly in winter. The fact this is true does not justify interventions that do not work. Wanting to do something is not justification either. There is no justification for reintroducing them.

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