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1. National headline figures

In order to improve the timely availability of data related to coronavirus (COVID-19) in adult care homes the Welsh Government and Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) have agreed to publish provisional counts of the number of adult care homes reporting one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and provisional counts of deaths in care homes, based on notifications by care home providers to CIW. This information helps to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and contributes to Wales and UK wide monitoring and decision-making.

This release now includes information on the number of adult care homes reporting one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last 7 and 28 days to CIW. This data shows only the number of care homes that have notified CIW of a confirmed COVID-19 case among their staff or service users (residents) and does not show the total number of coronavirus cases for that service. Since the data shows the number of care homes that reported one or more COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days or 28 days, it does not show whether there is currently an active coronavirus case in the service.

Following Welsh Government guidance issued on 17 December 2020, COVID-19 outbreaks can now be declared as over once 20 days have elapsed since the last affected individual returns a positive test or manifests symptoms. In line with this guidance, CIW have revised their daily notifications report to replace the previous 28 day measure to a 20 day measure. This change is reflected in the data presented in this release.

This data is reliant on registered providers reporting consistently and accurately. This data has been collected to inform CIW’s regulatory activities and decisions, and to enable it to monitor care homes with outbreaks of COVID-19.

Main points

  • 112 adult care homes in Wales have notified CIW of one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19, in staff or residents, in the last 7 days.
  • 327 adult care homes in Wales have notified CIW of one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19, in staff or residents, in the last 20 days.
  • CIW have been notified of 7,445 deaths in adult care home residents since 1 March 2020. This covers deaths from all causes, not just COVID-19.
  • This is 37% higher than deaths reported for the same time period last year, and 43% higher than for the same period two years ago.
  • 67% of total deaths since 1 March 2020 were for residents in care homes with nursing.
  • CIW has been notified of 1,709 care home resident deaths with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This makes up 23% of all adult care home residents reported deaths since 1 March 2020.

Notification of cases

This section covers the number of adult care homes reporting one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last 7 and 28 days to CIW. The data does not show the current number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in adult care homes or whether there is currently an active case in the care home.

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112 Adult care homes have notified in the last 7 days and 327 have notified in the last 20 days.

Number of adult care homes which have notified CIW of one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 7 or 28 days, up to 29 January 2021 (MS Excel)

This data is subject to revisions and previous publications are not revised. The latest figures are the most up to date figures.

In Wales there are 1,050 adult care homes. Of these, up to 29 January 2021:

  • 112 (10.7%) adult care homes in Wales notified CIW of one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19, in staff or residents, in the past 7 days. A decrease compared to 163 (15.5%) in the 7 days up to 22 January 2021
  • 327 (31.1%) adult care homes in Wales notified CIW of one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19, in staff or residents, in the past 20 days. A decrease compared to 350 (33.3%) in the 20 days up to 22 January 2021

Notifications of deaths

This section covers the number of deaths of residents in adult care homes, based on statutory notifications by care home providers to CIW.

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CIW have been notified of 7445 deaths in adult care homes residents since the 1 March 2020. This covers deaths from all causes, not just COVID-19. This is 37% higher than the number of deaths reported for the same time period last year, and 43% higher than for the same period in 2018.

Notifications of deaths of residents received from adult care homes, includes deaths from all causes (7 day rolling average), 7 January 2020 to 29 January 2021 (MS Excel)

Note: due to the leap year in 2020, data for the 29 February is the average of the 28 February and the 1 March for 2018 and 2019.

Table 1: Total deaths of residents notified to CIW from adult care homes, 1 March 2020 to 29 January 2021 compared to the same time period two years prior
Care Provided 1 March 2018 to 29 January 2019 1 March 2019 to 29 January 2020 1 March 2020 to 29 January 2021
With Nursing  3,344  3,734  4,963
Without Nursing  1,867  1,589  2,482
Total  5,211  5,423  7,445

Source: Notifications of Service User Deaths received by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

During 2019, care home services were undergoing re-registration with CIW due to new legislation, which introduced a new method of notifying CIW of deaths of care home residents. This may have resulted in some disruptions to notifications being submitted.

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CIW has been notified of 1709 care home resident deaths with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This makes up 23% of all reported deaths. 1207 of these were reported as confirmed COVID-19 and 502 suspected COVID-19. The first suspected COVID-19 death notified to CIW was on the 16th March, which occurred in a hospital setting.

Deaths notified to Care Inspectorate Wales of care home residents by cause of death and day of notification (7 day rolling average), 1 March 2020 to 29 January 2021 (MS Excel)

Note

COVID-19 related deaths included in the chart include both confirmed and suspected COVID-19. The care home testing policy was expanded on 16 May to include testing being offered to all symptomatic and asymptomatic staff and residents who have never tested positive for COVID-19 even where the home has not reported possible or confirmed cases. More widespread testing may have resulted in some deaths being recorded as non COVID-19 deaths when previously they may have been notified as suspected COVID-19 deaths.

Between 1 March 2020 to 29 January 2021

  • CIW have been notified of 7,445 deaths in adult care home residents since 1 March 2020. This covers deaths from all causes, not just COVID-19. This is 37% higher than deaths reported for the same time period last year, and 43% higher than for the same period two years ago.
  • CIW has been notified of 1,709 care home resident deaths with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This makes up 23% of all reported deaths.
  • 1,207 of these were reported as confirmed COVID-19 and 502 suspected COVID-19.
  • The first suspected COVID-19 death notified to CIW was on the 16 March 2020, which occurred in a hospital setting.
  • At the start of the November 2020 there was an increase in the number of COVID-19 related deaths notified to CIW. Following a decrease in December 2020, there has been a further increase in January 2021. The average number of COVID-19 deaths is now generally between 15 and 20 each day, which is higher than the increase observed in November 2020.
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69% of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 deaths were located in the care home. 29% of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 deaths were located in the hospital.

Notifications of deaths of adult care home residents with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 by location of death and day of notification (7 day rolling average), 7 March 2020 to 29 January 2021 (MS Excel)

Table 2: Notifications of deaths of adult care home residents with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 by location of death, 1 March 2020 to 29 January 2021
Ambulance  2
At the service  1,186
Hospital  490
Hospice  3
Other  14
Persons own home  14
Unknown 0
Total  1,709

Source: Notifications of Service User Deaths received by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

Between 1 March 2020 to 29 January 2021

  • 69% of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 deaths were located in the care home.
  • 29% of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 deaths were located in hospital.

2. Background

The data in this release is based on the date of the notification rather than the date a COVID-19 case has been confirmed or the date of death. CIW notifications of confirmed cases and cause of death are reported by the care home provider. Due to working patterns, there tends to be a lower number of notifications of confirmed COVID-19 cases or deaths during the weekends when compared to notifications for Monday to Friday. There is often a larger number of notifications on a Monday.

Notifications of confirmed COVID-19 cases in adult care homes

The data presented here is based on the notifications of confirmed cases received by CIW from adult care homes, which relate to their staff or service users (residents). The care home provider only needs to notify CIW of a confirmed case based on a positive laboratory test result. There may also be a potential delay between a confirmed COVID-19 case and when the care home providers notify CIW. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases referred to here is different to the number of new cases published by Public Health Wales. These sources of data are not directly comparable due to differences in timing and the level of validation carried out. We are publishing this data to ensure access to the CIW data is transparent and to provide timely indication of the trends for all notifications of confirmed COVID-19 cases in care homes in Wales. However CIW are reliant on providers notifying them consistently and accurately. CIW has requested that providers notify without delay but it is important to note that:

  • the data does not tell us the current number of confirmed cases in any one service (adult care home)
  • this data is only as accurate as the information submitted by the provider
  • providers only informed of confirmed cases from 19 August 2020 onwards

Notifications of COVID-19 deaths in adult care homes

The data presented here are based on the Notifications of Service User Deaths received by CIW from adult care homes which relate to their residents. The location of death may be in the care home, in hospital or another location.  The data is not based on laboratory confirmed tests, and are therefore not directly comparable with Public Health Wales (PHW) data. In their rapid surveillance dashboard, PHW include some notifications received from care homes with a positive laboratory confirmed test for COVID-19. Therefore these data cannot be added together. We are publishing this data to ensure access to the CIW data is transparent and to provide a timely indication of trends for all deaths to care home residents in Wales, from COVID-19 or otherwise. However, CIW are reliant on providers notifying them and being able to provide an indication that they are COVID-19 related deaths. The data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which includes all deaths where COVID-19 was a factor according to the death certificate, report higher numbers of deaths related to COVID-19 in care homes in Wales. We will continue to work with CIW and ONS to explore the quality of these data.

Data included in this release is correct at 23:59 29 January 2021.

3. Quality and methodology information

Context

In order to improve the timely availability of data on confirmed cases and deaths in care homes caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Welsh Government and Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) have agreed to publish provisional counts of confirmed cases and deaths in care homes, based on statutory notifications by care home providers to CIW. This information helps to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and contributes to Wales and UK wide monitoring and decision-making.

Relevance

As the independent regulator for care home providers in Wales, providers are statutorily required to notify CIW of deaths to residents. Care home providers are also statutorily required to notify CIW of outbreaks of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. CIW has requested that care home providers to notify it of each confirmed COVID-19 case in residents or staff within the care home, but there is no statutory obligation to do this. In addition, these statistics are used daily for a number of other purposes:

  • to provide CIW with intelligence to inform it regulatory activity and decisions
  • to understand the impact of the pandemic on care homes
  • to support evidence-based advice on future decisions around reviews of lockdown arrangements
  • contributions to Wales and UK wide monitoring and decision-making

Accuracy

  • The number of adult care homes in this report can fluctuate. This is due to either new care homes being registered for the first time or other care homes closing. For example during November, 6 adult care homes were removed and 4 were approved.
  • Data is collected on a daily basis via an online form developed and maintained by Care Inspectorate Wales. The data is validated against previous returns and any significant changes are queried.
  • Data includes all notifications up to midnight each day.
  • The COVID-19 cases data covers the number of care homes that have reported one or more confirmed cases, not the number of cases or the number of reports.
  • The COVID-19 cases data covers residents and staff working at the home.
  • The deaths data collection covers residents of adult care homes.
  • Care homes are required to notify CIW of the location of death and cause of death. Prior to 29 April 2020 this was via a free text box and CIW have used manual searches on the data to produce summaries by category. From 29 April 2020 the form has been amended to include mandatory tick box categories for COVID-19 Confirmed or Suspected and location (hospital, care home, hospice, ambulance, other). Therefore there is a change to the methodology used to produce these figures from 29 April 2020.
  • In terms of ‘Confirmed’ COVID-19, from 29 April onwards, this has been provided to CIW by the care home provider by means of an answer to the question: ‘Was the death a result of confirmed COVID-19?’.
  • Prior to this date, the care home provider wasn’t asked this question, therefore, ‘Confirmed’ for these is where CIW’s inspectors have reviewed the free text data provided by the care home provider (on the questions ‘cause of the person’s death, if known and confirmed by a medical practitioner’ and ‘summary of the circumstances leading up to the persons death and all contributing factors’) and determined that it relates to a confirmed case.
  • In both scenarios CIW are reliant on the care home provider to inform them appropriately of a confirmed case.
  • Following Welsh Government guidance issued on 17 December 2020, COVID-19 outbreaks can now be declared as over once 20 days have elapsed since the last affected individual returns a positive test or manifests symptoms. Multi-disciplinary teams must take into account the specific circumstances of individual homes, including the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) processes that have been applied. In line with this guidance, CIW have revised their daily notifications report to replace the previous 28 day measure to a 20 day measure. This change is reflected in the data presented in this release.

Timeliness and punctuality

The notification of deaths data in this release provides data from the 1 March 2020 and onwards, and the same time period two years prior. The notification of confirmed COVID-19 cases data in this release provides data from 27 November and onwards initially and we will look to include the backdated time series in due course.

Accessibility and clarity

This statistical release has been pre-announced and then published on the Statistics and Research section of our website. It is accompanied by an Open Document Spreadsheet to allow users to have direct access to the data that underlies the charts in this release.

Comparability

Data for England was first published on 28 April 2020.

The Chief Statistician has produced a blog of the different sources of data on Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths in Wales.

National Statistics status

These statistics are not National Statistics. However, as far as has been practicable, they have been collected and validated in accordance with the pillars and principles within the Code of Practice for Statistics. We continue to develop the data collection and quality assurance process to improve the data.

These statistics have been produced quickly in response to developing world events.

Well-being of Future Generations Act

The Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales. The Act puts in place seven wellbeing goals for Wales. These are for a more equal, prosperous, resilient, healthier and globally responsible Wales, with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language. Under section (10)(1) of the Act, the Welsh Ministers must (a) publish indicators ('national indicators') that must be applied for the purpose of measuring progress towards the achievement of the wellbeing goals, and (b) lay a copy of the national indicators before the National Assembly. The 46 national indicators were laid in March 2016.

Information on the indicators, along with narratives for each of the well-being goals and associated technical information is available in the Well-being of Wales report.

Further information on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

The statistics included in this release could also provide supporting narrative to the national indicators and be used by public services boards in relation to their local wellbeing assessments and local wellbeing plans.

Next update

The next release will be at 9.30am Tuesday 9 February.

We want your feedback

We welcome any feedback on any aspect of these statistics which can be provided by email to kas.covid19@gov.wales.

4. Contact details

Statistician: Alex Fitzpatrick
Telephone: 0300 025 9016
Email: kas.covid19@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

SFR 34/2021

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