The number of people receiving home care who died over the last year increased in Reading, 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 Chronicle shows that deaths of people getting social care support at home increased 225.9 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.

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Reading Chronicle:

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-March 2021.

In 28 English local authority areas, including Reading, 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 ten local authorities the official count of these deaths more than tripled during the pandemic year.

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

Between April 2020 and March 2021, 88 people died during the pandemic having received home care. In 2019, 27 people died.

No exact figures could be calculated because records showed some months as having only “less than five deaths”.