Care homes in England were planning their response to the coronavirus pandemic “with their hands tied” because data about outbreaks in the sector were not published until the end of April, an industry body has said.

There were more than 4,500 Covid-19 cases before Public Health England’s findings were issued, figures reveal.

The National Care Forum voiced its concerns at the outbreak data not being shared sooner but PHE said the figures had been used by health protection teams and to brief ministers.

Gary Lemin, whose father Roger died from Covid-19 in Cornish care home Roseland Court, told BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 that a lack of data meant care homes have been “fighting a losing battle”.

He added: “It makes it very difficult to understand the problem.

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