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NHS data reveals 'huge variation' in COVID-19 death rates across England

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A wide disparity in coronavirus mortality rates has emerged in English hospitals, with data seen by the Guardian showing that one hospital trust in south-west England had a death rate from the disease of 80% while in one London trust it was just 12.5%.

The figures, which NHS England has compiled but never published, show the age-standardised mortality rates that all of the country’s 135 acute hospital trusts have recorded during the pandemic. Doctors regard age as the single biggest predictor or risk factor for dying from COVID-19.

They cover the period from the start of the coronavirus crisis in March, through its peak in late March and April, up until 15 May, by which time 42,850 (85%) of the 50,219 deaths so far in all settings had occurred in England and Wales.

It is the first such data to emerge about how many people have lived or died in each trust after being treated there because they had been left critically ill by the disease. They are based on patients who were treated in an intensive care or high-dependency unit or on a ward.

Senior doctors said the dramatic gap in death rates of 67.5 percentage points between the trusts with the highest and lowest rates was notable and may mean that some hospitals needed to learn lessons from others.

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Source: Guardian, 14 June 2020

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