THE NUMBER of people receiving home care who died over the last year dramatically increased in Slough, prompting calls for their deaths to be investigated as part of a national inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Data obtained from the Care Quality Commission by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and passed to The Observer shows that deaths of people getting social care support at home increased by 67 per cent between 2019 and 2020.

Campaigners have said that while deaths in care homes had been at the forefront of people's minds, high death rates for those cared for in the community have been "shocking" - especially with disabled people.

Read more: Coronavirus deaths by postcode across Slough

Slough Observer:

Other data obtained by The Bureau revealed the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on people receiving care at home across the UK.

Analysis of English data showed deaths of adults receiving home care increased by 49 per cent from 2019 to at least 25,000 deaths in April 2020 to March 2021.

In 28 English local authority areas the official count of these deaths more than doubled during the pandemic year.

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In some areas, rates increased even more - in 10 local authorities the official count of these deaths more than tripled during the pandemic year, this includes Slough.

According to ONS figures, 12 people are recorded as having died with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19 whilst receiving home care in Slough during the pandemic.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, 70 people died in Slough in comparison to nine people in 2019.

In light of the data published, Slough Borough Council said they feel "saddened for each one of those deaths".

A spokesman at Slough Borough Council said: "We feel saddened by the data you have shared with us. Each one of those deaths was one of our residents, a sadly lost member of a family, a friend, someone who is very missed.

"Unfortunately the covid pandemic hit Slough hard. We have a very diverse community, with many people at higher risk of serious complications from covid, people with long-term health conditions, living very closely together, in multigenerational households."

The council said they have been proactive during Covid-19 in working with social care providers, including regular meetings including meeting with the Director and regular newsletters, allocation of government grants and support with PPE before the national portal was in place.

THey added: "We do feel that nationally the focus was very much on care homes to the detriment of domiciliary care and other ways people with adult social care needs are supported."