Barnsley has highest excess deaths rates during Covid pandemic in South Yorkshire

Excess deaths in Barnsley during the Covid-19 pandemic were the highest in South Yorkshire, according to government figures.

The town saw a 19.4% increase in the number of excess deaths between March 2020 to June 2022.

Sheffield saw a 9.2% increase, with Rotherham recording a rise of 14.8% and Doncaster 14.3%.

A report by Barnsley Council said that “deprivation is a key factor” in the increased number of deaths.

The figure refers to the number of deaths that are above the number expected, based on the previous five years.

The report, to be examined by the overview and scrutiny committee, said: “Barnsley entered the pandemic with a population at greater risk from serious illness and death, and that the current way of measuring excess deaths does not consider population growth.

“Deprivation is a key factor throughout the analysis, highlighting once again the increased risk of serious illness and poorer health outcomes for those residents living in our most deprived communities

“A growing and ageing population means that we would expect to see a slight increase in the number of excess deaths.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, between March 2020 and April 2021, Barnsley recorded 716 Covid-19 deaths and a rate of 250 per 100,000 population.

The report adds that other challenges, such as the cost-of-living crisis and “extreme pressures on hospital and ambulance services”, could “worsen existing health inequalities and cause further fluctuations in our local excess deaths data”.

The council said it would work with public health and other partners to ensure “we do everything we can to make our population more resilient for future pandemics”.


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