Death notifications in care homes – be prepared

Death notifications in care homes – be prepared

CQC have confirmed 21st July 2021 as the date when they will release data showing notifications received from individual care homes relating to deaths of people with Covid-19 between 10 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Every single one of these statistics is a life lost – a life that should be recognised as an individual and not just a statistic.

Providers will be given advance notice of the figures, and as these are based on the notifications originally sent into CQC by Providers, the figures should be an accurate representation of your service.

But they will likely make quite stark reading in some cases, whether that be in locality areas, or individual homes that may have been hit quite badly with outbreaks.

  • Providers will need to prepare for a new wave of family and media interest.
  • Start by checking the figures as soon as you get them.
  • Do they correlate with those figures you know you submitted?
  • If there is any discrepancy, do raise this as soon as possible before the data goes live.

Do then think about what conversations you want to have with the people you continue to support, their families, the families of those who have lost a loved one, your commissioners and also the media.

Can you help people to understand how Covid may have made its way into your service? For some services, it may be impossible to pin this down, for others you may be absolutely clear on the route in.

This is not about apportioning blame though. It’s about analysis, learning lessons, ensuring policies and procedures are followed and PPE utilised at all times.

Everything you do in your service can and should be the subject of auditing, so that there is always the capability to review and take action differently, and analysis of deaths due to Covid-19 is no different.

How you present data, and how you respond to the information, is as important as demonstrating how useful it is for your service and what you can do or already have done in response. A press release doesn’t need to be long. It needs to be reflect your awareness and understanding of the situation.

Hempsons social care team would welcome the opportunity to assist any provider who is concerned about their figures and how they may be portrayed in the media – this small window of opportunity when CQC share the figures with you but before they are published, is the ideal time for you to review your position so you are prepared for the right conversations.