Care homes deaths linked to COVID-19 - May 2023
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On 19 April 2021 in response to an FOI request, COPFS published data in respect of the number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in care homes to date, as per records held by the COVID Deaths Investigation Team (CDIT). COPFS publishes updated figures in respect of this data on a twelve weekly cycle. Updated figures have now been published (below). The data provided was extracted from CDIT working records on 3 May 2023.
On 21 May 2020 guidance was issued that stipulated all COVID-19 or presumed COVID-19 deaths where the deceased was resident in a care home when the virus was contracted should be reported to COPFS. The guidance of 21 May 2020 applied retrospectively.
The National Records of Scotland (NRS) have confirmed that the guidance applies to the deaths of 1,754 people who died in care homes before 21 May 2020. COPFS is aware of these deaths and they stand to be reported in due course as part of a co-ordinated multi-agency approach.
Figures are regularly updated by NRS and initial details provided are recorded by CDIT. Further enquiries by the police and other partner agencies can result in some deaths that were previously thought to meet reporting criteria to CDIT being reviewed and removed from the recorded information where such further enquiry establishes that the death does not meet the CDIT reporting criteria or deaths being reported retrospectively where such further enquiries result in that being appropriate.
Although it is no longer necessary to report all COVID-19 deaths (or presumed COVID-19 deaths) where the deceased was resident in a care home when the virus was contracted, some deaths continue to be reported retrospectively and some adjustment to the figures are required following further enquiries by the Police Service of Scotland and COPFS.