Rise in deaths at home across Broxtowe as residents avoid hospital during pandemic
More people have died at home in Eastwood and Kimberley during the coronavirus pandemic than in the years before it, figures suggest.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show there were 599 deaths at homes across Broxtowe between the start of 2020 and August 20 this year.
Of those, 389 occurred last year – 104 more than the annual average of 285 recorded between 2015 and 2019.
And so far in 2021 there have been 210 deaths at private homes, compared to an average of 183 for the same period in pre-pandemic years.
Around 4% of the deaths at private homes in Broxtowe had any mention of Covid-19 on the death certificate, compared to 3% nationally.
End of life charity Marie Curie said many people avoided hospitals during the crisis because they wanted to protect the NHS, or feared catching coronavirus.
Sam Royston, director of policy and research at Marie Curie, said: “A higher proportion of deaths last year happened at home as people responded to the government advice which was to protect the NHS by staying at home to save lives.
"Many people nearing the end of their lives or living with a terminal illness were fearful of going into hospital and potentially catching the virus, not being able to see their loved ones, and sadly the possibility of dying alone."
He added that the number of people dying at home is going to increase, and as the population ages increased demand for palliative care in the community will follow.
Across England and Wales, there were around 99,000 deaths at home in the first 33 weeks of 2021 – 23% more than the five-year average.
By contrast, hospitals saw a 3% fall, and care homes a 5% fall.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The health service is open and we urge a nyone to come forward to seek treatment if they need it.
“We are committed to backing the NHS at every turn, ensuring it has everything it needs to provide excellent care to the public and this year we have provided a further £29 billion to support health and care services, including an extra £1 billion to tackle the backlogs that have built up during the pandemic.”