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England's sustained excess deaths worst in Europe

Friday July 31st 2020

England has been Europe's worst affected region during the pandemic, according to an analysis published yesterday.

England had the highest excess mortality of any nation in Europe because of the length of time it was affected, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Across Europe, the worst affected district was Bergamo in northern Italy, which in one week had nine times the normal death rate.

In the UK, Birmingham was the worst affected city, showing a 249% increase in death rates in one week in April. In the same week Brent in London experienced a 357% increase.

Think-tank the King's Fund said the UK should learn lessons from its experience and seek improvements in prevention and public health together with reductions in health inequalities.

Dr Veena Raleigh, from the Fund, said: "Over the past decade, life expectancy improvements in the UK have lagged behind our European peers. With the worst coronavirus death toll in Europe, there is a very real risk that the UK will slide even further down the life expectancy league tables.

"The priority for the UK is to control the pandemic and learn lessons ahead of a potential second wave, but it is also essential to tackle the underlying reasons for stalling life expectancy in recent years – many of which contribute to poor COVID-19 outcomes."

One leading hospital chief executive claimed yesterday he was prevented from introducing a lockdown for at least two weeks in March.

David Loughton, head of the Royal Wolverhampton Trust, told his local newspaper that he was "leant on from a big height" not to ban visiting and take other steps.

He said it would have prevented 25 deaths in Wolverhampton.

Tags: Europe | Flu & Viruses | UK News

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