More people die at home during pandemic
More people have died at home in Sunderland during the coronavirus pandemic than in the years before it, new figures suggest.
End of life charity Marie Curie said the rise was partly due to many people avoiding hospitals during the crisis because they wanted to protect the NHS, or feared catching coronavirus.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 1,517 people died in their home in Sunderland between the start of 2020 and August this year.
Of those, 949 occurred last year – 212 more than the annual average of 737 – and so far this year, there have been 568 deaths – compared to an average of 483 for the same period in pre-pandemic years.
Around three per cent of the of the deaths had any mention of Covid-19 on the death certificate.
Nationally, there were around 99,000 deaths at home in the first 33 weeks of this year – 23% above the five-year average.
Sam Royston, director of policy and research at Marie Curie, said: “A higher proportion of deaths last year happened at home with many people nearing the end of their lives fearful of going into hospital, potentially catching the virus, not being able to see their loved ones, and possibility dying alone."
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The health service is open and we urge anyone to come forward to seek treatment if they need it.
“We are committed to backing the NHS and this year have provided a further £29bn to tackle the backlogs that have built up during the pandemic.”