Highest weekly excess deaths in two years in England and Wales

Excess deaths in England and Wales surged in the second week of January, reaching the highest level since the second wave of COVID-19 deaths, according to the latest data.

According to provisional figures released by National Statistics Office (ONS) On Tuesday, 17,381 deaths were recorded in England and Wales in the week ending 13 January, about 2,837, or 19.5% higher than the five-year average for the same week.

This is the highest number of excess deaths per week since the week ending 12 February 2021, when the UK was emerging from the alpha wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time, deaths related to COVID-19 accounted for 37% of all registered deaths.

However, in the last week, the disease accounted for only 5% of cases, meaning other factors are contributing to the high mortality rate.

Deaths in private homes increased by almost a third (31.5%) from the five-year average, while deaths in hospitals, nursing homes, and other settings averaged 11.1% and 11.1%, respectively. 27.6% and 12% higher. .

Across the UK, 19,916 deaths were recorded in the week to 13 January, around 20.4% above the five-year average (3,377 excess deaths), according to the ONS.

Figures show that more than 5% of week 2 deaths were linked to COVID-19 in both England and Wales and in the UK as a whole.

Death toll has been above average for months

A previous analysis of official figures by The Times of London and the BBC showed that more than 650,000 deaths will be registered in the UK in 2022, the highest excess death recorded in the past 50 years, excluding a pandemic year. I’m here.

The numbers spiked sharply this winter, with mortality rates 21% and 20% above average in the last two weeks of December, followed by 14% and 20% in the first two weeks of January.

Health experts suggest that COVID-19 accounts for a negligible percentage and many factors may be behind the increase.

The surge in flu cases leading up to Christmas may have had an impact.

The latest data show that almost a quarter (24%) of all registered deaths in England and Wales in the first two weeks of the year were related to influenza and pneumonia.

Deaths recorded as the underlying cause of death from influenza and pneumonia accounted for 9% of registrations in the week ending 6 January and 8% in the most recent week, not seen since before the pandemic. Level.

Veena Raleigh, senior fellow at health charity The King’s Fund, said other factors driving excess deaths included “unmet medical needs during the pandemic” and “unprecedented pressure on NHS services.” said to include

These factors will need to be “immediately addressed” if the rising trend in deaths is to be halted and reversed, and immunization programs will continue “with COVID-19 continuing to spread relentlessly in recent weeks, along with influenza and pneumonia.” It’s a priority because we’re doing it,” she added.

Epoch Times photo
Health Secretary Steve Barclay during a visit to Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals in London on December 15, 2022 (Stefan Rousseau/PA Media)

Labor’s shadow public health minister, Andrew Gwynn, questioned Health Secretary Stephen Barkley in Parliament on Tuesday.

“There were 50,000 more deaths than expected in 2022. Excluding the pandemic, this is the worst number since 1951,” Gwin said, citing excess deaths across the UK.

“The Health Secretary … says he doesn’t accept these numbers, but with as many as 500 people dying each week waiting for basic treatment, we are still subject to the same old Conservative denial and backpassing. I will,” Gwynn added.

“So, will the minister who responds finally take some responsibility, accept the ONS excess death toll, and acknowledge the damage she and her government are doing to our NHS?”

In response, Health Minister Maria Caulfield cited wait times in Welsh’s emergency departments, and the British Medical Journal said the UK ranks “in the middle table in Europe with a death rate comparable to Italy”. Said there was

“Indeed, excess mortality is higher in Germany at 15.6%, Finland at 20.5% and Poland at 13.3%. Only 39.5% received it, the lowest ever.”

Responding to a key question about the high death rate in private homes on 10 January, Health Minister Lord Markham said that cardiovascular death, which the government is focusing on, was a “major problem” and a “factor”. “a combination of

PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou

Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.