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"Lest we forget" the care home residents lost through the covid-19 pandemic

21 July 2021

Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance, responds to the publication of Care Quality Commission data on notifications of deaths of care home residents with reference to covid-19 from 10 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

“Care homes across the country – and indeed across the world – are acutely aware of the devastation caused by covid-19.

“No one understands the distress, loss and ongoing exhaustion wreaked by the pandemic better than the residents, families, frontline staff and management of our pressurised care homes.

“As the Care Provider Alliance, we extend our sympathy and support to everyone affected by covid in our care homes and represented in these figures. 

“We recognise the distress these raw, uninterpreted figures are likely to cause to relatives, residents, staff and managers. These are not numbers, they are people.  We also need to acknowledge the extraordinary lengths that staff have gone to – and are still going to – in order to protect their residents. And of course many staff themselves have also fallen victim to covid. 

“These figures reveal the enormous pressure on our care homes throughout the last year. In no way do they indicate a lack of quality in the care provided.

“They must be considered within the exceptional context in which homes have been operating, and the way in which the data was gathered.”

For example, testing and PPE was initially unavailable, and then limited – putting care home residents and staff at increased risk of infection, despite their best efforts.

High infection rates in the wider community also raise the risk of infection within a care home. Care home staff were required to self-report deaths involving covid to CQC, without a GP’s certification of death. The figures published today also relate to all care home residents – regardless of place of death, or place of infection. So it includes residents who may have died in hospital or an ambulance, or residents who were readmitted or newly admitted from hospital where they may have acquired the infection.

Help and support§

CPA communication guidance for care providers: Tips and useful links on talking about coronavirus to staff, service users, families, and the media.


For health and care staff

Bereavement supporting during COVID-19 – NHS England

Our Frontline 0300 303 4434  ( 8am to 8pm)  or text 85258 or 0800 069 6222 (7am to 11 pm)

Nurse Lifeline - 0808 801 0455

For residents, families and the public

Relatives and Residents Association Helpline - 0207 359 8136

Carers First - Helpline 0300 303 1555

Samaritans 116 123

Anxiety UK 03444775 774

Mind 0300 123 3393 

Calm 0800 58 58 58

Young Minds 0800 018 2138

National Bereavement Partnership – 0800 448 0800

Dementia UK – Helpline 0800 888 6678

Child Bereavement UK – Tel 0800 028 8840

Barnardo’s Boloh Helpline for Black and Asian children, young people and families affected by Covid-19 pandemic – Tel 0800 1512605

The Anne Robson Trust - Tel 0808 801 0688

Guideposts Trust -– 0800 048 7035


CQC Press office Tel 020 3855 4621


Notes to Editors§

The Care Quality Commission has published figures for individual care homes’ death notifications, where covid-19 was referenced in the notification.

The data covers the period 10 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 and is based on self-reporting by care homes.

About the CPA§

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) brings together the 10 main national associations, which represent independent and voluntary adult social care providers in England.  We work to represent the sector and ensure a coordinated response to the major issues that affect it.

The CPA bring together the ten national associations, which represent private, voluntary and community sector providers. We speak for the whole of the adult social care sector including care homes, home care services, Shared Lives schemes and retirement communities.

CPA members cover almost 10,000 organisations, employ over 600,000 staff and support an estimated 1 million people.

For more information on the Care Provider Alliance visit About us.