Region's coronavirus care home deaths almost as high as hospitals

Almost as many people died with coronavirus in the region's care homes as died in hospital during the last week of April, new figures show.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 129 people died with Covid-19 in care homes in the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire between April 25 and May 1.

Meanwhile the latest NHS figures show 149 people died with the virus in the region's hospitals during the same period.

In sparsely-populated Staffordshire the number of care home deaths was higher than the number of hospital deaths.

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The care home data is released by local authority area but hospital data is released by health trust.

In Staffordshire 37 people died in care homes between April 25 and May 1 while 31 people died in the county's hospitals.

Across the more densely populated Black Country and Birmingham, 118 people died in hospital compared with 92 in care homes.

Daily Covid-19 deaths in Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire hospitals by date of death, as of May 5. Data: NHS England. Figures likely to increase as further deaths announced.

In Wolverhampton 15 people died in care homes and 13 people died in the care of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust which runs New Cross Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital.

In Dudley nine people died in care homes in the borough and 15 people died at Russells Hall, while in Walsall 18 people died in care homes and 10 people died at Walsall Manor.

Due to the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS trust running hospitals in two boroughs, statistics for hospital deaths in Sandwell and Birmingham must be merged.

Across the two boroughs 80 people died in hospital and 50 people died in care homes, including 10 in Sandwell.

Of the hospital deaths 52 took place at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS trust which runs four hospitals in Birmingham including Queen Elizabeth, the region's largest.

Meanwhile in Worcestershire 33 people died in county hospitals and 26 people died in care homes.

The overall pandemic death toll for the region's care homes is not yet available, but the latest figures show 1,995 people have died with the virus in hospitals across the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire.

Nationally, the UK has now passed Italy as the country with the most Covid-19 deaths in Europe although academics have warned that cross-country comparisons are “difficult”.

The official number of Covid-19 deaths in Italy stood at 29,079 as of 6pm on May 4, according to the Italian Ministry of Health.

According to Government figures provided on Tuesday, the UK total is now at 29,427 deaths in all settings.

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