Excess Deaths at Highest Level Since Pandemic Peak

Number of registered deaths is higher than expected

The number of excess deaths recorded in the week ending 23 December 2022 was the highest since February 2021, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

After comparing the number of deaths reported in this week alone to the five-year-average for the same period, the ONS found that there was a 20% increase – the equivalent of almost 2,500 additional deaths.

And with over 30,000 more deaths than expected in England and Wales during the last six months, questions have been raised about why this figure has remained so high after the peak of the pandemic.

Long-lasting impact of the Covid pandemic

Although the number of people dying from Covid has fallen, the lasting effect of the pandemic can’t be ignored.

Some newer studies suggest that people are more likely to suffer heart problems and strokes in the weeks and months after having Covid. This could help explain why the level of excess deaths has remained so high as we go into 2023.

It’s also important to remember that many people who were suffering the early symptoms of serious illnesses during the lockdown might have been less likely to see a medical professional. This means their condition may have worsened over time and, in the most tragic cases, become life-threatening.

NHS delays mean more people are dying at home

The latest data from the ONS also revealed that more people are dying outside of hospital settings. Over the last six months, 81,804 people died in their homes. This is just over 30% more than the five-year average from 2015-19.

And while some people will choose to spend their final days at home, there are growing concerns around the number of sudden deaths taking place outside of hospitals due to ambulance delays.

This month (January 2023), the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said that the delays could be causing up to 500 deaths a week as people in life-threatening conditions wait for an ambulance.

If you or a loved one have suffered from health problems after failing to get the medical care you asked for, you may be entitled to compensation and support.

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