The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that it is to publish data concerning the number of COVID-19 deaths in care homes between 10 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. The data will be published at its July public board meeting.
Data is already produced by the CQC on a weekly basis to the ONS on the total number of care home residents who have died from COVID-19 but the information to be published on 21 July is additional. The publication will provide information regarding location as well as numbers of deaths.
The pressure group COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice submitted written evidence to Parliament in November 2020 highlighting the need for this information to enable the families of workers in care homes who had died to be in a position to access the £60,000 lump sum payable under the NHS and Social Care Life Assurance Scheme. This information is also however likely to be of assistance to those who might wish to seek compensation arising out of a COVID-19 care home death. An uptick in claims might be anticipated.
Care homes which suffered outbreaks resulting in resident and care worker deaths are likely therefore to come under the spotlight once more. No doubt the reasons behind outbreaks and deaths will be explored again in the media, but more importantly perhaps for the bereaved, care home owners and their insurers, in the courts.
Sarah Woodwark, Partner and Head of Healthcare, BLM