Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, Cambridge University, said: “Usually around 300 people die each day in their homes in England and Wales – the latest ONS analysis confirms that even after the peak of the epidemic this has stayed at around 400 a day and shows no sign of declining – that’s one-third extra, very few of which are from Covid. 

“Non-Covid deaths in hospital have correspondingly declined, suggesting most of these deaths would normally have occurred in hospital, and people have either been reluctant to go, discouraged from attending, or the services have been disrupted.

“It is unclear how many of these lives could have been extended had they gone to hospital, for example among the 450 extra deaths from cardiac arrhythmias.”

Sir David added: “Crucially, the ONS data cannot tell us about the quality of these deaths, particularly in terms of the end-of-life care provided to the patients and the support for their families.”

Deaths of men at home from heart disease rose 26 per cent in England, compared with the five-year-average (1,705 additional deaths), with fewer dying in hospital.

Deaths from prostate cancer saw the biggest percentage change from the five-year average, a 53 per cent increase (801 additional deaths). Deaths from bowel cancer rose 46 per cent. 

In Wales, deaths in private homes for males from heart disease were up 23 per cent on the five-year average, prostate cancer deaths have increased 75 per cent, and bowel cancer deaths were up 52 per cent.

For women, the leading cause of death was heart disease, accounting for 10.5 per cent of all deaths in private homes.

Deaths in private homes of women from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased by 75 per cent in England compared with the five-year average (1,335 additional deaths).

Deaths from breast cancer were up 47 per cent. 

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