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Winter death toll not changed

23rd November 2011

Data released by the Office of National Statistics has found the number of "extra" deaths during last year's winter in England and Wales has remained nearly the same as the previous year.

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The ONS information compares winter deaths with average figures for other times of year.

They found there were 25,700 excess deaths in over-75 year-olds, which was around the same as the previous year's total.

Predictions of a higher number of deaths due to the extremely cold weather turned out not to be correct.

One of the factors in the death toll remaining the same was the swine flu virus, which affected younger people more than older ones.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said despite the "harsh" winter the numbers of deaths had not risen, but that did not mean there was room for complacency.

She added that they wanted to make certain the NHS and the public were well prepared and that the number of winter deaths decreased. 

Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said the number of deaths was still a "disgrace".

"We like to think of ourselves as a civilised society which protects the most vulnerable but the numbers of older people who do not survive the winter here is far higher than most European countries where the weather is far colder."

"In the UK there are still over 200 excess deaths per day - a figure that should make us all ashamed."

 

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