Weekly coronavirus death toll outside hospital slows in Aylesbury Vale
The rate of coronavirus deaths outside hospital in Aylesbury Vale has slowed, new figures suggest.
It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the epidemic in care homes "is coming under control", as he announced the Government's testing regime would be expanded to thousands more homes across England.
A social care task force has also been introduced to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the sector, a move which charity Alzheimer’s Society said was “badly needed to ensure an end to the devastation that coronavirus has wreaked in care homes".
Office for National Statistics data shows that in Aylesbury Vale, 127 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to June 6.
Of those, 66 occurred outside hospital – including 61 in care homes and one at a private home. A further four deaths occurred in hospices, other community establishments or elsewhere.
It means the area's death toll outside hospital increased by just three in the latest weekly period, in line with the previous week.
The figures, based on where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, include deaths that occurred up to May 29 but were registered up to eight days later.
Across England and Wales, 46,350 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered up to June 6. Of those, 30% occurred in care homes and nearly two-thirds in hospital.
During a recent Downing Street press conference, Mr Hancock said the proportion of people dying in care homes fell by 79% from the peak in the week ending April 24 to the week ending May 29, according to the Care Quality Commission.
“With all of the measures that we’ve put in place over the past few months, all of the billions of pounds extra that we’ve put in, it’s clear that the epidemic in care homes is coming under control," he said.
David Pearson, former chief of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, who will lead the new social care task force, said the unit will bring together the actions of central and local government.
He told the press conference: "Our focus will be on stopping infection whilst trying to ensure the wellbeing of all people who receive care and support"
Fiona Carragher of Alzheimer’s Society, said the task force should “urgently review why people with dementia have been worst hit by the virus, as well as directly address the complex needs and challenges they have."
"With the threat of a second spike, the Government must ensure that the tragedy of the last few months is not repeated," she added.
The number of deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales reached its lowest weekly level for eight weeks at the end of last month, ONS data shows.
There were 1,822 deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales registered in the week ending May 29.
At less than a fifth of all deaths registered that week, Covid-19 accounted for the lowest proportion of fatalities since the week lockdown was imposed.
In the week to June 6:
Deaths outside hospital increased by three, climbing to a total of 66
Hospital deaths increased by two to 61
The overall death toll climbed by five, compared to a rise of nine in the previous week