NHS Panic As Mortuaries Fill With Thousands of Non-Cov Deaths – Urgent Inquiry Calls
By James Lee
NHS backlogs and pressure from the pandemic has seen British mortuaries filled with over 10,000 extra bodies over the last 18 weeks, all of which are non-Covid related.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that over the last four months, England and Wales registered 20,823 more deaths than the five-year average in the past 18 weeks. Only 11,531 deaths involved Covid. It means that around 45 percent of recent deaths were related to other causes.
Experts called for an urgent inquiry into whether the deaths were preventable.
Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: “I’m calling for an urgent investigation.”
He continued: “If you look at where the excess is happening, it’s in conditions like ischemic heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver and diabetes, all of which are potentially reversible.”
Worried that this is not just a natural occurrence, he said: “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.”
Mortuaries have seen an increase of deaths over the last 18 weeks
NHS staff are under-resourced and under pressure from Covid-19 demands
With the NHS suffering huge patient backlogs, the professor told the Telegraph: “This could be the fallout from the lack of preventable care during the pandemic, and what happens downstream of that.”
Calling for action to be taken, Profesor Heneghan said: “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.”
Weekly figures for the week ending November 5 showed that there were 1,659 more deaths than would normally be expected at this time of year.
Of those, 700 were not caused by Covid.
The excess is likely to grow as more deaths are registered in the coming weeks.
Many of the deaths could have been preventable
Data from the UK Health Security Agency show there have been thousands of more deaths than the five-year average in heart failure, heart disease, circulatory conditions and diabetes since the summer.
The number of deaths in private homes is also 40.9 percent above the five-year average, with 964 excess deaths recorded in the most recent week, which runs up to November 5.
Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, said: “Numbers of deaths from all causes do usually increase at this time of year, but the total number remains above the average for the corresponding week in the five years 2015 to 2019.”
The expert added: “So, on that definition, we still have excess deaths, as we have had for 18 straight weeks now, and not all those excess deaths are due to COVID-19.”