Fall in weekly coronavirus-related deaths in Dacorum
Weekly deaths linked to the coronavirus have fallen in Dacorum, new figures show.
The NHS Confederation says "tens of thousands of lives have been saved" as a result of lockdown measures, after the number of UK-wide coronavirus deaths reached its lowest weekly level for six weeks in mid-May.
But the Health Foundation think tank has called for more priority to be given to vulnerable people needing social care following “the huge loss of life” in care homes.
Office for National Statistics data shows that in Dacorum, 106 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to May 23.
Of those, 26 occurred outside hospital – including 21 in care homes and three at private homes. A further two deaths occurred in hospices, other community establishments or elsewhere.
It means the death toll increased by five in the latest weekly period, a smaller increase than the six seen the previous week.
The figures include deaths that occurred up to May 15 but were registered up to eight days later.
ONS figures are based on where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions.
In the week up to May 23:
- Deaths outside hospital increased by two, climbing to a total of 26
- Hospital deaths increased to 80, three higher than the 77 recorded in the previous week
- Overall, the death toll climbed by five, compared to a rise of six in the previous seven-day period.
Across England and Wales, more than 42,000 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to May 23.
Of those, 3,810 were registered in the week ending May 15 – the lowest weekly total since the week ending April 3.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the numbers are a "stark reminder that lockdown measures have made such a difference".
He said: "Tens of thousands of lives have been saved and that is why it is still so important to follow guidance in the coming weeks, even though that guidance will change and become nuanced."
Mr Dickson added that a second spike of infections "would be a disaster and must be avoided".
Of the deaths in England and Wales up to May 23, 65 per cent occurred in hospitals and 29 per cent in care homes.
Dr Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Health Foundation, said the latest figures "illustrate the huge loss of life in care homes".
"The action plan for social care was published nearly a month after the lockdown was introduced," she said.
"Protecting vulnerable people needing social care should be given more obvious priority.
"Targeted action to tackle local outbreaks in care homes must include effective testing and tracing, and ensuring consistent supplies of PPE to prevent a further spike in avoidable deaths."