Nearly 10,000 More Brits Have Died Than Normal Since July From Non-Covid Illnesses
30,000 since the start of the year
Almost 10,000 extra people have died from non-Covid illnesses in England and Wales than would be expected since summer, according to official figures.
Experts have demanded an urgent investigation into whether the deaths were avoidable and if the current NHS crisis and emergency care delays are to blame.
There have been around 21,000 more deaths from all causes than average since July, according to Office for National Statistics data up to November 5.
But about 11,500 of these involved Covid, leaving a little more than 9,000 due to other causes such as dementia, heart and lung disease and cancer.
Oxford University’s Professor Carl Heneghan, an eminent expert in evidence-based medicine, said he suspected many of the excess deaths were ‘potentially reversible’.
He told The Telegraph: ‘This goes beyond just looking at the raw numbers and death certificates. We need to go back and find if these deaths have any preventable causes. This could be the fallout from the lack of preventable care during the pandemic.’
Since January, there have been 46,000 more deaths than the five-year average, but nearly 77,000 were Covid-related. [Leaving up to 31,000 potential lockdown deaths.]
Professor Heneghan said: ‘I’m calling for an urgent investigation.
‘If you look at where the excess is happening, it’s in conditions like ischemic heart disease, and cirrhosis of the liver and diabetes, all which are potentially reversible.
‘We urgently need to understand what’s going wrong and an investigation of the root causes to determine those actions that can prevent further unnecessary deaths.’
Figures also show more people are dying at home than ever before.
There were some 964 extra deaths in private homes in the week to November 5, the latest available, which was 40 per cent above the five-year average.
There were also 548 extra deaths in hospitals, 12 per cent above average, and 155 excess deaths in care homes, seven per cent above average.
It has been suggested that deaths at home have risen because more people were choosing to die there.
But some experts fear it may be because terminally ill people don’t want to go into hospital in case they catch the virus.
The figures come as the NHS faces a crisis in routine and emergency care after thousands of appointments were shelved during the darkest [most hysterical] days of the pandemic.
A record 5.83million patients are currently waiting for routine treatment on the health service in England, including 300,000 patients who have spent a year in the queue.
Some 10,000 patients have now been waiting two years to be seen for surgery such as hip and knee replacements.
A crisis has also erupted in emergency care, with ambulances carrying sick patients left standing outside hospital for hours waiting for beds in A&E.
Paramedic bosses say crews are currently picking up two to three patients a day, whereas normally they would collect up to eight.
Calls to 999 have also hit a record, with 1.2million people making a desperate call to the service in October.
But health chiefs have admitted as much as three-quarters of these are repeat callers pleading for an update on the arrival of their ambulance.
NHS data for October shows the average waiting time for some emergency 999 ambulance calls has reached 54 minutes.
This is triple the 18-minute target for ambulance trusts to respond to these ‘Category 2’ calls, which includes strokes and heart attacks.
Medics have warned that A&E patients are having to wait more than 12 hours for a bed because emergency departments are so overwhelmed due to crippling staff shortages, pandemic backlogs and unprecedented demand.
Shocking statistics also show more than 7,000 patients waited 12-plus hours to be seen in A&E in October — more than triple the number in the same month pre-Covid.
NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard warned yesterday that she expected ‘things to get worse before they get better’. She suggested the health service needed more doctors and nurses — not more cash — to address the deepening crisis, adding that ‘nothing works without staff’.
Source: The Daily Mail