The COVID-19 pandemic has been felt hardest among those who rely on social care, and those working to care for them. The death toll during March and April 2020 alone was devastating. The impact on the health and wellbeing of care workers and unpaid carers may take time to become visible, and may be profound.

Our briefing shows the scale of the challenge of keeping people who need social care safe and in providing high-quality health and social care during the pandemic. It also indicates the speed of action required to tackle transmission and prevent loss of life among a particularly vulnerable group.

As England begins to plan beyond the immediate crisis, it is critical that the issues highlighted here are urgently addressed to prevent further harm.

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