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More than 100,000 lives lost to Covid

This week we have reached the heart-breaking milestone in the pandemic with 104,000 lives lost.

One hundred and four thousand people have lost their lives to covid in the UK (Office for National Statistics) as of today (Wednesday 26 January 2021).  Families, colleagues and friends are dealing with the pain and loss of loved ones.  Every community in the UK is impacted. 

We join together in sadness to remember those we have lost, and extend our thoughts to those who are grieving, many battling to cope and struggling in isolation.

The pandemic is exposing great inequality in impact and in human rights protection across the UK. BASW has set out urgent concerns and demands on upholding Human Rights during Covid-19.

The recent ONS data for England and Wales shows 63 social workers have tragically lost their lives to Covid so far, which highlights the risks the profession takes in delivering essential services and safeguarding communities. 

We remember our friends and colleagues across the social work profession and pay tribute and extend our thanks to social workers and our health and care colleagues, for their bravery and commitment whilst working throughout the pandemic – providing vital support for families and individuals.

As set out in BASW’s position statement on Covid-19 and vaccination, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) identifies frontline social workers who provide care to vulnerable people as a high priority for vaccination. 

BASW is working to ensure social workers and social care workers in all types of provider organisations are prioritised for vaccination and have access equal to that for health and other priority staff within the practicalities of the roll out programme. 

BASW is here for you and will continue to provide support to social workers throughout the pandemic. 

BASW England is continuing to support Bereaved Families for Justice who are in calling for a public enquiry to learn lessons and save lives going forward.

Jamie Brown of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said:  “The Government’s complete failure to learn lessons last summer has cost lives this winter. We never wanted to be here. Our group is flooding with newly bereaved members, being supported in their grief by those of us who lost loved ones in the first wave. That’s the reality of 100,000 deaths: it’s not a milestone, it’s a tombstone, with every single individual’s name etched onto it, and it’s towering over this Government’s failure to protect its people. 

“If the Government had learned lessons over the summer, when there was time for a rapid review phase to a public inquiry, then the UK might not have the highest death rate in the world right now. If the Prime Minister won’t meet with bereaved families like us, the least he can do is end the delay to a public inquiry so he can learn lessons as quickly as possible in order to save lives now and in the future.”