More than 150 people in Sheffield died in home care during pandemic, new figures reveal
More than 150 people died in home care in Sheffield over the last year, an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have revealed.
156 people receiving care at home died in the city between April 2020 and March 2021, an increase of 54.5 per cent on the previous year (101).
Of these, only 23 died from Covid-19 with the remaining 133 dying from other causes.
The first official statistics covering deaths of those receiving home care over the past year suggest that the virus has taken a significant toll on a system that is widely seen as stretched and unequal.
The deaths will include elderly people, those with physical and learning disabilities, and mental health conditions — all people who rely on care workers coming into their own homes for them to be able to live independently.
This rise in reported deaths in England of 50 per cent, and in Scotland of 70 per cent, compares to an increase of 22 per cent in the wider population in England, according to figures from the ONS.
Fazilet Hadi, of the charity Disability Rights UK, told the Bureau: “The dramatic increase in deaths of people receiving domiciliary care during the pandemic appears to be truly shocking. It is very important that the figures are further analysed.
“Disabled and older people receiving care at home can often be very isolated and forgotten by the world around them. The everyday challenges they face are largely invisible and it is time we put a spotlight on their experiences during the pandemic.
“We know that the use of PPE and testing was slow in reaching domiciliary care and that this is likely to have contributed to the deaths of older and disabled people receiving support at home and care workers.
“However, the figures appear to show that the majority of deaths weren’t due to Covid and it is important that we clarify whether causes of death were wrongly recorded or whether other factors were at play. We know that many people receiving social care experienced cuts to their care and the link between these reductions and the higher rate of deaths also needs exploring.”