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NHS crisis causing continued higher-than-normal levels of death

The crisis in the NHS is leading to continued higher-than-usual death levels in England and Wales, experts have said.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that almost 170,000 more people than normal died in England and Wales between March 2020, when coronavirus was declared a pandemic, and the end of 2022 – 11% higher than the five-year average.

However, the new data also shows that the number of excess deaths has continued, even as the virus’s fatality rate has declined thanks to vaccinations and weaker strains, with 90% of the excess deaths in 2022 occurring in the second half of the year, coinciding with recent NHS pressures and the impact of a cold winter.

Prof David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University said that “analyses have suggested that delays in ambulance arrivals and in A&E will have had a substantial impact, as well as the cold weather and the early flu season”.

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Source: The Guardian, 9 March 2023


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