Generated on 2021-05-17

What’s new in this report

The model used to estimate expected deaths has been revised to allow better precision of estimates by age, ethnic group and deprivation. Full details are available in the methodology document. These do not significantly affect overall figures.

We have updated the presentation of cause of death information. The difference is in the difference in how “cause” is defined. The new report shows the excess deaths by mention of cause of death, that is, a cause that appeared somewhere on the death certificate. The previous reports showed the excess deaths by underlying cause of death. Analysis of excess deaths by underlying cause were hard to interpret as they were affected by the fact that COVID-19, a new cause of death, was often the underlying cause of death instead.

Introduction

Monitoring excess mortality provides understanding of the impact of COVID-19 during the course of the pandemic and beyond. Excess mortality in this report is defined as the number of deaths throughout the pandemic which are above the number expected based on mortality rates in earlier years.

In this report the expected number of deaths is modelled using five years of data from preceding years to estimate the number of deaths we would expect on each week through the pandemic. Excess deaths are estimated by week and in total since 21 March 2020, based on the date each death was registered rather than when it occurred. Excess deaths are presented by age, sex, Upper Tier Local Authority, ethnic group, level of deprivation, cause of death and place of death. Please note, some of the figures in this report have been rounded, though the differences displayed are based on unrounded data.

All Persons

Weekly excess deaths by date of registration, North West.‎

Figure 1: Weekly excess deaths by date of registration, North West.‎

The trend in total excess deaths by week, in North West, since week ending 27 March 2020 is shown in Figure 1. Numbers above each of the columns show the total number of excess deaths and how these compare with the expected number based on modelled estimates for 2015 to 2019. For example, in week ending 24 April 2020 there were 1,557 excess deaths and this was two times (2 times higher) the expected number of deaths in this week. When fewer deaths than expected occur in a week, the column is coloured grey.

Excess deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate are shown in orange. If the number of deaths is not shown in the orange part of the column, that means the total excess was less than the number of deaths with a mention of COVID-19, indicating fewer deaths from other causes than expected in these weeks.

The number of excess deaths without COVID-19 mentioned on the certificate (shown in the white part of the column) may be due to an increase in deaths from other causes during the period of the pandemic but may also reflect under-reporting of deaths involving COVID-19.

Cumulative deaths since 21 March 2020, by date of registration, North West.

Figure 2: Cumulative deaths since 21 March 2020, by date of registration, North West.

The trend in the total cumulative number of excess deaths in North West since 21 March 2020 is shown in Figure 2.

Age Group Males