Health leaders have called for the routine recording of ethnicity and faith during the registration of deaths to help fight COVID-19, but the government appears to have rejected the idea.
Leaders at West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, the second largest integrated care system in England, wrote to registrar general Abi Tierney last month and said the lack of routine collection and analysis of this data “means there is a structural barrier to understanding of inequalities in mortality”.
The Home Office replied and said it is considering “a range of reliable and proportionate ways to collect the necessary information”. But HSJ understands the Home Office has indicated no immediate action will be taken on the issue.
The letter said: “This absence has undoubtedly led to delays in identifying the inequalities of COVID-19 mortality and means that we remain unclear about the disparities in deaths outside of hospital. These delays have risked contributing to further loss of life in our places in recent weeks, as we have not had robust data to enable us to address impacts at sufficient pace as we have been dealing with this crisis.”
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Source: HSJ, 8 July 2020