Hundreds of excess deaths in Worksop during Covid-19
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Office for National Statistics figures show Bassetlaw district recorded 390 more deaths between March 2020 and June 2022 than the five-year average would suggest.
This was 13.5 per cent more deaths than were expected over this time period – meaning the area has an excess death rate above the 11.1 per cent average across England and Wales.
Across the two nations, 137,447 more deaths were registered over the 28-month period than expected compared with previous years – 64 per cent of which were men.
The King's Fund said this shows the ‘grim human toll of the pandemic’, while wide geographical variations – caused by local infection rates, deprivation, and demographics among others – demonstrate the unequal impact of Covid-19.
Dr Veena Raleigh, senior fellow at the think tank, warned that, as winter approaches, the virus is still present and its future course is ‘unpredictable’.
She said: "NHS services were already stretched prior to the pandemic and are now facing unprecedented pressures with a backlog of almost seven million people waiting for planned care, plus long delays in emergency services that could cause harm or be life-threatening.
“If the Government wants to forestall the risk of excess deaths climbing again, ministers must take steps now to ensure good uptake of the Covid-19 and flu vaccines, and that the NHS has the workforce and resources to cope with winter pressures.”
The ONS figures also include a small number of people who died whose usual residence is outside England and Wales.
Sarah Caul, ONS head of mortality analysis, said excess deaths in 2022 were being driven by higher than expected numbers of deaths since March, which could be caused by a combination of factors.
She said: “Across March, April and May we saw increases in deaths due to cardiac arrhythmias, predominantly among those aged 80 and above.
“Further work needs to be done to understand any link between the long-term effects of Covid-19 and increasing cardiac deaths.”
Excess deaths nationally peaked in April 2020 and January 2021, which were also the months which had the highest number of deaths due to coronavirus.
In Bassetlaw, the month with the highest excess deaths was December 2020, when they were 75.5 per cent above normal.
By contrast, March 2020 saw deaths 20.9 per cent below usual levels.
The Department of Health and Social Care said its world-leading vaccination programme continues to save lives, with all those aged over 50 being offered jabs for both Covid and flu.
A DHSC spokesman said: “The Health and Social Care Secretary is focused on delivering for patients and has set out her four priorities of A, B, C, D – ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors and dentists.”