UK suffers ‘deadliest’ week in two years as NHS battles winter ‘twindemic’

ENGLAND and Wales suffered their deadliest week in almost two years ahead of Christmas as the NHS teeters on the brink of collapse.

Experts say a huge flu outbreak is sending the death toll across countries and have warned hospital delays are killing hundreds a week.

The number of hospital deaths in the week leading up to Christmas was 19 per cent higher than average

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The number of hospital deaths in the week leading up to Christmas was 19 per cent higher than averagePhoto credit: Getty
More people died between December 17 and 23 than any week since February 2021 (Source: Office for National Statistics)

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More people died between December 17 and 23 than any week since February 2021 (Source: Office for National Statistics)

According to official figures, more people died between December 17 and 23 than in any week since the third Covid lockdown in February 2021.

A total of 14,530 Brits died, of whom just 429 were linked to Covid.

Non-Covid deaths were the highest since January 2018 at 14,101.

Sarah Scobie, from the health think tank Nuffield Trust, said: “The number of deaths in the week leading up to Christmas is worrying.

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“One likely factor will be the ugly spike in flu circulating this year – it’s at much higher levels than in recent years.

“This flu season has hit us much earlier than usual, so the spike in deaths could also be earlier than expected.”

The Office for National Statistics recorded 829 official flu deaths, but the true number is likely higher.

Hospitals are battling a ‘twindemic’ of flu and Covid circulating together for the first time.

dr Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia, said: “The problem with measuring flu deaths is that many are not directly related to the flu but are due to secondary bacterial infections such as group A strep and pneumonia.

“The flu is often no longer detectable by the time it is admitted to the hospital.”

Deaths from all causes were 21 per above average for the time of year.

Deaths in hospitals were 19 per cent higher than usual, while there was a huge 38 per cent increase in people stopping by at home.

It comes as the NHS finds itself in a crisis, with A&E and ambulance wait times at record highs and clinics paralyzed by staff shortages.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine warned last week that up to 500 people die each week due to emergency delays.

dr Ian Higginson, RCEM Vice-President said: “Patients are dying in ambulances, on hospital corridors and in hospitals and emergency departments, sometimes due to delays in treatment. This is a real problem.”

https://www.the-sun.com/health/7061860/england-wales-highest-deaths-years-christmas-flu-nhs-crisis/ UK suffers ‘deadliest’ week in two years as NHS battles winter ‘twindemic’

Emma James

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