PMQs: £600m to tackle care home Coronavirus crisis

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Boris Johnson has announced a further £600 million for coronavirus infection control in British care homes, after accusations of being “too slow” in tackling the crisis.

The Prime Minister made the pledge during PMQs, where he and Sir Keir Starmer clashed over the number of Covid-19 deaths that had taken place in residential facilities.

Mr Johnson admitted that the number of care home casualties had been “too high”, but vowed that numbers were now “well down” in terms of outbreaks and fatalities in the setting.

However, he was then pressed by the Labour leader over 10,000 “unexplained” excess care homes deaths last month.

WATCH: Sir Keir Starmer queries 10,000 'unexplained' care home deaths

Sir Keir said: “The ONS records the average number of deaths in care homes each month. The last five years the average for April has been just over 8,000.

“This year the number of deaths in care homes for April was a staggering 26,000 - that's three times the average - 18,000 additional deaths this April.

“Using the government’s figures only 8,000 are recorded as Covid deaths, that leaves 10,000 additional and unexplained care home deaths this April.”

Mr Johnson responded: “The Office for National Statistics is responsible for producing the data that they have, the government has also produced data which not only shows that there has been, as I say, a terrible epidemic in care homes.

“But since the care homes action plan began, we are seeing an appreciable and substantial reduction not just in the number of outbreaks but also in the number of deaths.”

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