Hundreds more deaths in Sunderland

The coronavirus pandemic saw hundreds more deaths recorded in Sunderland last year than were expected, new figures suggest.

By Patrick Jack
Friday, 21st January 2022, 10:52 am

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Death rate rises
Death rate rises

Public Health England data compares the number of deaths registered with how many were predicted based on previous mortality rates to calculate the number of excess deaths.

Sunderland recorded 3,415 deaths from any cause in 2021 – compared to a predicted 2,986 – 429 (14%) more.

Of the deaths registered, 386 (11%) had Covid-19 on the death certificate.

Excess deaths are considered a better measure of the overall impact of Covid-19 than mortality directly linked to the virus, as they capture deaths that may have been indirectly caused by the crisis.

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Since March 2020, 115,600 excess deaths have been recorded in England.

The deadliest time of the year in England came over three weeks in January and February when there were around 5,000 excess deaths each week.

In Sunderland, the highest weekly excess death total came in the seven days to November 19 when the area recorded 26 excess deaths.

The Nuffield Trust said lockdown measures reduced the circulation of flu and other illnesses, which could be why the number of excess deaths nationally was lower than the number of Covid deaths in 2021.

Sarah Scobie, deputy director of research at the organisation, said: "As the vaccination programme has rolled out, the number of Covid deaths has reduced, despite high numbers of cases.

"The huge toll of Covid should not be underestimated though. There have still been hundreds of excess deaths recorded every week since July.”