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Changes in patterns of mortality and place of death during the COVID-19 pandemic: A retrospective analysis of data from the four nations of the UK
Palliative Medicine ; 35(1 SUPPL):35, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1477102
ABSTRACT

Background:

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to excess mortality globally. Understanding change in place of death during the pandemic is needed to help guide resource allocation and support for end-of-life care.

Aims:

To analyse the patterns of mortality and place of death in UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods:

Descriptive analysis of UK mortality data between March 2020 and February 2021. The weekly number of deaths in each nation was described by place of death using the following definitions (1) Average deaths estimated using five years of historical data (2015-19);(2) Baseline deaths up to and including expected deaths but excluding COVID-19 deaths;(3) Deaths where COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate;(3) Additional deaths not attributed to COVID-19.

Results:

During the analysis period, there were 743,172 deaths in the UK, of which 135,716 were COVID-19 related and 17,672 were additional non-COVID deaths. There was variation in mortality between the UK nations with Wales having the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths at 229 per 100,000 population and Northern Ireland the lowest at 141 per 100,000 population. Deaths in care homes increased above baseline levels during the first and second waves of the pandemic but fell below baseline between waves, increasing the most in Wales by 29%. Hospital deaths increased overall by as much as 13% in England but fell by 1% in Scotland. Deaths at home remained above average throughout the study period with an overall increase of between 40-41%. In England and Wales, 15-30% fewer people died in hospices compared to baseline.

Discussion:

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed where people die in the UK. Notably a sustained increase in deaths at home has been seen, with implications for planning and organisation of palliative care and community services. Examination of place of death in other countries with high COVID-19 mortality is recommended.

Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: EMBASE Type of study: Observational study / Qualitative research Language: English Journal: Palliative Medicine Year: 2021 Document Type: Article

Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: EMBASE Type of study: Observational study / Qualitative research Language: English Journal: Palliative Medicine Year: 2021 Document Type: Article