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BAME people in care homes more likely to die with coronavirus

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in care homes are more likely to die with Covid-19 than white people, the CQC has found.

New data shows that in care home settings, 54% of deaths amongst black people and 49% of deaths amongst Asian people are related to Covid-19, compared to 44% of deaths of white people and 41% of those from mixed or multiple ethnic groups.

Across all adult social care services, the proportion of deaths due to confirmed or suspected Covid-19 was also higher for black and Asian people, at 49% and 42% respectively. This is in comparison to white people (41%) and those from mixed or multiple ethnic groups (41%).

These deaths were reported to the CQC between 10 April and 15 May.

However, the the vast majority of all reported deaths from adult social care settings were of white people.

Kate Terroni, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: ‘It is clear that urgent action is needed to fully understand the impact of Covid-19 on people from BME backgrounds in adult social care settings.

‘This data indicates a disproportionate impact on people from BME backgrounds from Covid-19 in adult social care but the limitations of the data mean that much more work is needed.’

She added that more data was ‘critical’ to ‘understanding the actions that need to be taken across adult social care to ensure that all people are given safe, high quality care, appropriate for their individual needs’.

And she said that the data also highlighted ‘the much wider question of how ethnicity is recorded across adult social care’.

‘We are undertaking a targeted piece of work to review death notifications and how we work with providers to ensure the data provided to us is both accurate and accessible. We will be looking at how we collect data on ethnicity as part of this,’ she added.

However, the CQC has acknowledged various limitations to today’s results. For example, it is not mandatory for services to provide the ethnicity of people who died and had accessed their service, and this information is unavailable from death certificates.

Additionally, while the CQC says it has removed a large number of duplicates from the data, it cannot guarantee that every duplicate has been removed.

It further stressed that because the data is unadjusted, it does not take into account other factors, including those related to age structure, socioeconomic status or geography.

Yesterday, Public Health England made the admission that the pandemic has laid bare ‘humbling’ inequalities, as it finally published its delayed recommendations on reducing BAME deaths.