Responding to the Office for National Statistics report, Analysis of death registrations not associated with coronavirus (COVID-19), Nuffield Trust Director of Research and Chief Economist, John Appleby said:
“Beyond the distressing Covid-19 death figures that we hear every day, we are beginning to see a more full picture of a significant number of excess deaths not attributed to Covid-19, some of which could be an unintended consequence of measures to tackle the outbreak.
“Over a quarter of excess deaths between March and the end of May did not cite the virus as a cause of death, with many of these were recorded outside of hospitals. The majority of these deaths are the most elderly and frail, with two-thirds linked to people living with dementia or other conditions associated with frailty. This is more evidence of the severe pressure on care home staff and community services.
“While a number of these early excess deaths are likely to be undiagnosed Covid-19 cases, it is possible that some will be people in need of urgent medical care but have not sought it. This could be because of fear of infection, not wanting to burden NHS services and staff, or uncertainty caused by the huge shakeup in the way we have accessed health and care services over the last few months.”