Excess Death Rate Spikes in U.K.—MPs Call for ‘Urgent’ Investigation

MPs have called for an investigation into the rising death rates in Britain, as a significantly higher number of deaths than usual are being recorded each week, according to The Daily Mail.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, 17,381 deaths were registered in England and Wales during the seven days ending January 13, which is 2,837 more deaths than the average for this time of year.

This marks the highest number of excess deaths since the week ending February 12, 2021, when the UK was in the midst of its second wave of COVID-19 infections and vaccinations had just begun.

During that week, 37% of deaths recorded were attributed to COVID.

However, coronavirus has recently accounted for only 5% of total deaths, indicating that other factors may be contributing to the high mortality rate.

Winter has seen a significant increase in deaths, with the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January experiencing 21% and 20%, and 14% and 20% above average respectively.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has reported that up to 500 deaths per week may be caused by delays in ambulance and treatment.

The shadow public health minister of the Labour Party, Andrew Gwynne, has criticized the government for their response to the situation and accused them of denial and passing the blame.

“There were 50,000 more deaths than we would have otherwise expected in 2022,” said Gwynne.

“Excluding the pandemic, that is the worst figure since 1951,” he continued, adding, “The Health Secretary – part-man, part-ostrich – says he doesn’t accept those figures, but as many as 500 people are dying every week waiting for essential care and we’re still getting the same old Tory denial and buck-passing.”

Conservative former minister Esther McVey called for an “urgent and thorough investigation” into the excess deaths.

“The Chief Medical Officer recently warned that current non-COVID excess deaths is being driven in part by patients not getting statins or blood pressure medicines during the pandemic,” she told the Commons.

“But when looking at the data on statins on openprescribing.net, which is based on monthly NHS prescribing, there appears not to be a drop. So where is the evidence? And if there isn’t one, what is causing these excess deaths? Will the minister commit to an urgent and thorough investigation on the matter?”