Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 11 September 2020

Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, by age, sex and region, in the latest weeks for which data are available.

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Cyswllt:
Email Sarah Caul

Dyddiad y datganiad:
22 September 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
29 September 2020

1. Main points

  • The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 11 September 2020 (Week 37) was 9,811; this was 2,072 deaths higher than in Week 36.

  • In Week 37, the number of deaths registered was 5.4% above the five-year average (505 deaths higher).

  • Of the deaths registered in Week 37, 99 mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)", accounting for 1.0% of all deaths in England and Wales.

  • This is the second lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 since Week 12; this is an increase of 21 deaths compared with Week 36 (26.9% increase).

  • The number of death registrations may have been affected by the August Bank holiday (31 August). This can cause delays in deaths being registered in Week 36, resulting in an increase in deaths being registered in Week 37.

  • The number of deaths in hospitals was below the five-year average in Week 37 (371 fewer deaths), while the numbers of deaths in private homes and care homes were above the five-year average (830 and 57 more deaths respectively).

  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased across five of the nine English regions; the North West was the only English region to have lower overall deaths than the five-year average.

  • In Wales, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased from four deaths (Week 36) to one death (Week 37), while the total number of deaths in Week 37 was similar to the five-year average (one death higher).

  • The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 11 September 2020 (Week 37) was 11,145, which was 576 deaths higher than the five-year average and 2,149 deaths higher than Week 36; of the deaths registered in the UK in Week 37, 110 deaths involved COVID-19, 27 deaths higher than Week 36.

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2. Deaths registered by week

Figure 1: Deaths in England and Wales involving COVID-19 increased for the first time since Week 16

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 11 September 2020

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The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales increased from 7,739 in Week 36 (week ending 4 September 2020) to 9,811 in Week 37 (week ending 11 September 2020) (Figure 1). The number of deaths was 5.4% above the five-year average (505 deaths higher).

The number of death registrations may have been affected by the August Bank holiday (31 August). This could have caused delays in deaths being registered in Week 36, resulting in an increase in deaths being registered in Week 37. More information on how bank holidays affect death registrations can be found in our Week 20 bulletin.

The number of death registrations in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) increased from 78 in Week 36 to 99 in Week 37 (a 26.9% increase). Of all deaths registered in Week 37, 1.0% mentioned COVID-19.

In England, the number of deaths increased from 7,232 in Week 36 to 9,215 in Week 37, which was 507 deaths higher than the Week 37 five-year average. Of the Week 37 deaths, 1.1% (97 deaths) involved COVID-19 in England.

In Wales, the number of deaths increased from 488 in Week 36 to 578 in Week 37, which was one death higher than the five-year average (577). Of these, 0.2% (one death) involved COVID-19.

In Week 37, in England and Wales, 12.5% of all deaths mentioned "Influenza and Pneumonia", COVID-19 or both, compared with 12.3% in Week 36. "Influenza and Pneumonia" has been included for comparison, as a well-understood cause of death involving respiratory infection that is likely to have somewhat similar risk factors to COVID-19.

Figure 2: Deaths not involving COVID-19 increased above the five-year average

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 11 September 2020

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Between Weeks 1 and 12, 138,916 deaths were registered, which was 4,822 fewer than the five-year average for these weeks. However, between Weeks 13 and 37, 295,730 deaths were registered, which was 58,226 more than the five-year average.

Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths up to 11 September 2020 was 434,618, which is 53,376 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 11 September, 52,482 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 12.1% of all deaths in England and Wales.

Looking at the year-to-date for England and Wales separately, the number of deaths for England was 408,034, which is 51,791 (14.5%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 49,837 (12.2%) mentioned COVID-19. In Wales, the number of deaths up to 11 September 2020 was 25,941, which is 2,055 (8.6%) more than the five-year average; of these, 2,570 deaths (9.9%) mentioned COVID-19.

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3. Deaths registered by age group

In Week 37, the number of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales increased or remained similar across all age groups, compared with Week 36, with the biggest increase seen in those aged 85 to 89 years (12 deaths). The number of deaths involving COVID-19 remained higher in the older age groups, with those aged 80 years and over accounting for the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 (51.5%).

Looking at the year-to-date, for most age groups there have been more deaths involving COVID-19 in males than in females (Figure 3). Across Weeks 1 to 37 of 2020, 55.0% of all deaths involving COVID-19 were in males. However, there were more deaths in females aged 85 years and over (11,992) than males aged 85 years and over (10,155). This could be because the over-85-years female population (939,000) is larger than the over-85-years male population (564,000) in England and Wales.

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4. Deaths by region in England and Wales

Figure 4: Deaths in Week 37 increased in Wales and across all English regions

Number of deaths in Wales and regions in England, registered between 28 December 2019 and 11 September 2020

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In Week 37 (week ending 11 September 2020), there was only one death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) registered in Wales. Out of the English regions, the North West had the largest number of deaths involving COVID-19 (30 deaths), and the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 (2.4%). The North West was also the only region to be below the five-year average for overall deaths (37 deaths fewer). More detailed geographic analysis between 1 March and 31 July 2020 can be found in our Deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation release.

The number of deaths registered in Week 37 was higher than the five-year average in all English regions except for the North West, which was slightly below (2.9%). In Wales, the number of deaths registered in Week 37 was 0.2% (one death) higher than the five-year average (Table 1).

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5. Deaths registered by place of occurrence

The year-to-date analysis shows that, of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) up to Week 37 (week ending 11 September 2020), 63.4% (33,283 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (15,529 deaths), private homes (2,492 deaths), hospices (751 deaths), other communal establishments (224 deaths) and elsewhere (203 deaths).

Between Weeks 36 and 37, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased in hospitals and care homes (by 13 deaths and 10 deaths respectively) and decreased or remained similar in all other settings. Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals remained the same as Week 36, at 1.6%. Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes as a proportion of all deaths in care homes increased from 1.1% in Week 36 to 1.3% in Week 37. Detailed analysis on deaths of care home residents is available in Deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector, England and Wales: deaths occurring up to 12 June 2020 and registered up to 20 June 2020.

As well as Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) provides numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England that are based on the date the death was notified to the CQC. From 10 April (the first day when data were collected using the CQC's new method of identifying deaths involving COVID-19) to 18 September 2020, there were 14,264 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19. Of these deaths, 32 were notified in the week up to 11 September. More information on the data provided by the CQC can be found in our joint transparency statement.

In Wales, the Welsh Government publishes the number of deaths of care home residents involving COVID-19 notified to the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). Between 1 March and 11 September 2020, there were 745 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19.

More information on how these numbers have compared throughout the pandemic can be found in our previous Comparison of weekly death occurrences in England and Wales release.

Figure 5: Deaths in private homes and care homes were above the five-year average in Week 37

Number of excess deaths by place of occurrence, England and Wales, registered between 7 March 2020 and 11 September 2020

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In Week 37, deaths in hospitals and other locations were below the five-year average by 371 and 19 deaths respectively, while the number of deaths in private homes and care homes was higher than the five-year average by 830 and 57 deaths respectively (Figure 5).

Looking in more detail at deaths in private homes in Week 37, males accounted for more excess deaths (449 deaths) than females (381 deaths). Overall, 81.9% of the excess deaths in private homes were those aged 70 years and over (680 excess deaths). More detailed analysis of excess deaths in England is produced by Public Health England (PHE) on a weekly basis.

Figure 6 is based on date of death for deaths registered up to 19 September 2020, rather than date of registration. This means as more deaths are registered, deaths per day are likely to increase, especially for later dates. Looking at the number of deaths that occurred in Week 37, 69.9% of deaths occurred in hospitals, and care homes accounted for 26.0% of all deaths involving COVID-19; this may change as more deaths are registered.

A death of a man aged 80 to 84 years was registered in the week ending 4 September 2020 (Week 36), which occurred in the week ending 31 January 2020 (Week 5). We are reviewing the details of this registration.

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6. Deaths registered in the UK

Across the UK, there were 11,145 deaths (all causes) registered in Week 37 (week ending 11 September 2020), which was 576 deaths higher than the UK five-year average and 2,149 deaths higher than Week 36. Of these deaths, 110 involved the coronavirus (COVID-19), 27 deaths lower than in Week 36.

In Week 37, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 97 deaths, followed by Northern Ireland with seven deaths, Scotland with five deaths and Wales with one death.

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7. Comparison of weekly death occurrences in England and Wales

We previously published this section as a separate article on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website, which provided a more thorough description of the differences between different data sources. This section will look at the number of deaths by date of death produced by the ONS compared with death notifications reported by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). For Wales, we can also compare the reconciled DHSC data by date of death released by Public Health Wales (PHW).

On 12 August 2020, Public Health England (PHE) revised their data series to include two measures: deaths of positively tested individuals where the death occurred within 28 days and deaths within 60 days of a positive test. More information on these changes can be found in their technical summary.

In England, including deaths that occurred up to 11 September 2020 but were registered up to 19 September 2020, of those we have processed so far, the number involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) was 49,869. The comparative number of death notifications reported by the DHSC on GOV.UK where the deaths occurred within 28 days of testing was 36,999 and the number of deaths by date of death showed 36,959; the comparative number of death notifications where the deaths occurred within 60 days of testing was 40,923 and the number of deaths by date of death showed 41,000.

In Wales, including deaths that occurred up to 11 September 2020 but were registered up to 19 September 2020, of those we have processed so far, the number involving COVID-19 was 2,571; the comparative number of death notifications reported by the DHSC on GOV.UK where the death occurred within 28 days of testing was 1,597 and PHW numbers, which come from the same source as the DHSC figures but are continuously updated, also showed 1,603 deaths.

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8. Deaths data

Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional
Dataset | Released 22 September 2020
Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, by age, sex and region, in the latest weeks for which data are available. Includes data on the coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths.

Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and health board
Dataset | Released 22 September 2020
Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving COVID-19, by local authority, health board and place of death in the latest weeks for which data are available.

Number of deaths in care homes notified to the Care Quality Commission, England
Dataset | Released 22 September 2020
Provisional counts of deaths in care homes caused by COVID-19 by local authority. Published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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9. Glossary

Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths

Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths are those deaths registered in England and Wales in the stated week where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. A doctor can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings – a positive test result is not required. Definitions of COVID-19 for deaths in Scotland and Northern Ireland are similar to England and Wales.

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10. Measuring the data

More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Mortality statistics in England and Wales QMI.

To meet user needs, we publish very timely but provisional counts of death registrations in England and Wales in our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional dataset. These are presented by sex, age group and regions (within England) as well as for Wales as a whole. To allow time for registration and processing, these figures are published 11 days after the week ends. Because of the rapidly changing situation, in this bulletin we have also given provisional updated totals based on the latest available death registrations, up to 19 September 2020.

Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our regular weekly deaths release now provides a separate breakdown of the number of deaths involving COVID-19: that is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions. If a death certificate mentions COVID-19, it will not always be the main cause of death but may be a contributory factor. This bulletin summarises the latest weekly information and will be updated each week during the pandemic.

These figures are different from the daily surveillance figures on COVID-19 deaths published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the GOV.UK website, for the UK as a whole and its constituent countries. Figures in this report are derived from the formal process of death registration and may include cases where the doctor completing the death certificate diagnosed possible cases of COVID-19, for example, where this was based on relevant symptoms but no test for the virus was conducted.

From 29 April 2020, the DHSC started to publish as their daily announced figures on deaths from COVID-19 for the UK a new series that uses improved data for England produced by Public Health England (PHE). These figures provide a count of all deaths where a positive test for COVID-19 has been confirmed, wherever that death has taken place, a change from previously reporting only confirmed COVID-19 deaths in hospitals. Figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had already begun to include deaths outside hospitals, so this change ensured that the UK-wide series had a shared and common definitional coverage. A statement was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which provides more detail of the changes.

On 12 August 2020, the PHE data series was revised to include two measures: deaths of positively tested individuals where the death occurred within 28 days and deaths within 60 days of a positive test. More information on these changes can be found in their technical summary (PDF, 854KB).

In contrast to the GOV.UK figures, we include only deaths registered in England and Wales, which is the legal remit of the ONS. Tables 2 and 3 provide an overview of the differences in definitions between sources.

We will publish accompanying articles periodically, giving enhanced information such as age-standardised and age-specific mortality rates for recent time periods and breakdowns of deaths involving COVID-19 by associated pre-existing health conditions.

There is usually a delay of at least five days between occurrence and registration. More information on this issue can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

Our User guide to mortality statistics provides further information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to mortality and includes a glossary of terms.

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11. Strengths and limitations

Figures are based on the date the death was registered, not when it occurred. There is usually a delay of at least five days between occurrence and registration. More information on this issue can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Sarah Caul
health.data@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 456022