In the Guardian today:

Covid-19 death tolls at individual care homes are being kept secret by regulators in part to protect providers’ commercial interests before a possible second coronavirus surge, the Guardian can reveal. England’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Care Inspectorate in Scotland are refusing to make public which homes or providers recorded the most fatalities amid fears it could undermine the UK’s care system, which relies on private operators.

In May, prompted by the coordinated attempts to blame the Scottish Government for alleged failures in guidance, hospital discharges and in PPE supply, by private care home owners with links to the Conservative party, the Labour/GMB collective, and the MSM, I tried to answer the question:

Are most deaths in private care homes?

Though incomplete, the data seemed then to suggest the answer was yes. Here’s what I found:

There had been 1 438 covid-related deaths in care homes up to 10th May:

There seem to be no data breaking these down into council, voluntary and private care homes, so the following set of media reports, from an exhaustive search, is the only source we have at the moment. At best this gives us an impression of the situation and should not be considered a definitive answer to the question in the headline.

I should declare an obvious bias here in my research agenda. I suspect that when all the data are in, the answer will be ‘yes’ but have tried to find what is there in the data available online.

There are 291 voluntary [not for profit] sector, 232 local authority and 727 private care homes in Scotland.

This survey found evidence of coronavirus deaths in 15 private homes, 6 council/local authority and 1 voluntary home. Crude ratios are of limited value here but private homes certainly predominate, council run homes do feature but the voluntary homes run by, for example, the Church of Scotland, do not. There are many qualifying reservations you could make about these data. One obvious one would be, I think (no data), the lifetime background of disadvantage and the higher risk of death from coronavirus of those dependent on the council-run homes.

A rare objective statistic is in the data on complaints with private care homes complained about 4 times more often pro rata (taking into account the relative numbers) than voluntary or local authority homes:

Here are the reported cases:

Private: Castle View Dumbarton HC-One: 8 deaths:

Private: Highgate Glasgow HC-One: 22 deaths:

Private: Home Farm Skye HC-One: 9 deaths:

Private: Barchester, Peterhead: 5 deaths:

Private: Kingdom Homes Kirkcaldy: 14 deaths:

Private: Burlington Court, Four Seasons: 13 deaths:

Private: Barchester South Grange Nursing Home in Monifieth: 20 deaths:

Private: Pitkerro Care Home Dundee: 10 deaths:

Private: Elderslie Care Home in Paisley: 22 deaths:

Private: Mosswood Care Home, in Linwood: 3 deaths:

Private: Milngavie Manor Care Home: 4 deaths:

Private: Berelands Priory: 20 deaths:

Private: West Acres Glasgow: 14 deaths:

Private: Almond Court Glasgow: 5 deaths:

Private: Hill View Dalmuir: 9 deaths:

Council: Saltgreens Care Home Borders: 5 deaths:

Council: Bonnyton House, East Dunbarton: 11 deaths:

Council: Crosslet House in Dumbarton: 15 deaths:

Council: Bonnyton House, East Dunbarton: 11 deaths:

Council: Jewel House Edinburgh: 9 deaths:

Council: Jewel House Edinburgh: 9 deaths:

Voluntary: Erskine homes: 24 deaths: