Over 30,000 non-Covid-19 excess deaths at home in England and Wales since March
More than 30,000 extra deaths not linked to Covid-19 have now taken place in private homes in England and Wales since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.
Extra deaths – known as “excess deaths” – are the number of deaths that are above the average for the corresponding period in the previous five years.
A total of 30,785 excess deaths in homes in England and Wales that did not involve Covid-19 were registered between March 7 and November 13, according to PA news agency analysis of data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Nearly half of these deaths – 14,007, or 45% – were registered since the start of July.
The figures show there are still many more people than normal who are dying in their own home.
This is despite the number of Covid-19 deaths in private homes in England and Wales dropping sharply during the summer and early autumn.
Of the 2,877 registered deaths involving Covid-19 that have occurred in homes since the start of the pandemic, only around a fifth (594, or 21%) have been since the start of July.
By contrast, the number of non-Covid excess deaths in private homes has showed no sign of a similar drop.
Instead, the total registered each week has been running at roughly the same level – around 700 to 900 above the five-year average – since the end of May.
Previous analysis by the ONS found that deaths in private homes in England for males from heart disease, from the start of the coronavirus pandemic through to early September, were 26% higher than the five-year average, while prostate cancer deaths had increased 53%.
For women, deaths in private homes from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease had increased 75%, while deaths from breast cancer were up 47%.
The latest figures for care homes in England and Wales show that, unlike in private homes, Covid-19 has accounted for a majority of excess deaths.
Of the 25,248 excess deaths registered in care homes since the start of the pandemic, two-thirds (16,768) involved Covid-19.
Almost all of these deaths occurred in the first half of the year.
The total number of deaths in care homes was below average for much of the summer and autumn.
It is a similar story for hospitals, where deaths were below average every week from mid-May to mid-October.
Only in recent weeks have hospitals started to record a number of excess deaths – though far below the levels of March and April.
Overall, the ONS said that up to November 13 there have been 60,456 more deaths than usual in England and Wales since the start of 2020.
It is this number – the total excess deaths for the calendar year – which, once finalised, will be used by the ONS and other statistical organisations to compare the UK’s mortality levels with countries around the world.