Buckinghamshire death rate at lowest level since last summer

This April saw the lowest level of deaths for the month since national records began in 2001
April saw the lowest number of deaths for the month nationally since records beganApril saw the lowest number of deaths for the month nationally since records began
April saw the lowest number of deaths for the month nationally since records began

Buckinghamshire saw its overall death rate drop to the lowest level since last summer in April, figures reveal.

Health think tank the Nuffield Trust welcomed the low mortality recorded across the country for the month, but said it must be seen in the context of the high death toll already suffered due to the coronavirus.

Office for National Statistics data shows 344 deaths from all causes were registered in Buckinghamshire in April.

At a rate of 724 per 100,000 people, that was the lowest level of mortality for any month since August, when it stood at 603.

It was also less than half of that recorded in April last year when the pandemic reached its first peak – 695 deaths were registered during the month, at a rate of 1,480 per 100,000 people.

The rates are adjusted to account for differences in the age structure of the population to allow comparisons over time and between areas.

Of the deaths registered in April this year, Covid-19 was recorded as the underlying cause for seven – down from 223 a year earlier, and 61 the previous month.

Across England, 38,899 deaths were registered from all causes in April, at a rate of 851 per 100,000 people – the lowest level for the month since national records began in 2001.

It was also the lowest rate of deaths since August, after the first wave of the virus, when the figure stood at 746.

Covid-19 dropped from the third most common cause of death in March to the ninth most common in April – although the virus was still the leading cause in the first four months of the year.

Chris Sherlaw-Johnson, senior fellow at the Nuffield Trust, said the low mortality rate recorded for April was good news, and he hoped to see the trend continue with the vaccination roll-out.

“While it appears that mortality for this time of year has reached record lows, this has to be taken in the context of the tragically high mortality seen at the turn of the year,” he added.

“It may also be the case that social distancing measures and the steps taken to protect the most vulnerable from Covid have had a knock-on impact on mortality from other infectious diseases, bringing numbers down.”

A recent Public Health England report showed that coronavirus case rates remained stable nationally in the week to May 16.

It also found that the hospital admission rate related to the virus had fallen since the previous week.

PHE’s medical director, Dr Yvonne Doyle, said: “While it is hugely encouraging that the prevalence of the virus is currently stable with hospitalisations and deaths continuing to fall, we are concerned about the variant first detected in India and are constantly monitoring the situation.

“Until we know more it’s vital we don’t let our guard down too soon and remain cautious.”

Dr Doyle urged people to keep up with actions known to control the virus, such as getting tested if they show any symptoms and isolating if returning from abroad.