January deaths up a quarter in England and Wales
The number of deaths in England and Wales for January 2015 increased by 24.2 per cent on the same period in 2014, according to the latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics.
In the two countries, the number of people dying in January 2014 was 48,920, rising to 60,776 in January 2015.
Provisional figures for monthly deaths show that all regions experienced increases in deaths significantly higher than the national population increase, which currently stands at approximately 0.6 per cent, as the health service struggled to cope with increased demand and winter pressures.
January was a particularly poor month when compared to the same period in 2014. The east of England and East Midlands saw 28 and 29 per cent increases in deaths respectively.
The smallest increase for January deaths was London, where there was a 20 per cent increase in deaths between 2014 and 2015. 4,548 people died in London in January 2014, compared to 5,455 in 2015.
While February, March and April experienced smaller increases in deaths than January, they were still significantly above the increase in population.
Between 2014 and 2015, England and Wales saw increases in deaths of 13.9 per cent in February, 16.4 per cent in March and 8.9 per cent in April.
Deaths in England and Wales were up 16 per cent over the first four months of 2015, when compared to the same time in 2014. 172,523 people died in the first four months of 2014, compared to 200,263 in the same period of 2015.
For the first four months of 2015, the largest increase in mortality was in the east of England – where the number of deaths increased by 19.2 per cent to 21,815. North west England had the smallest increase, with the number of deaths rising by 12.6 per cent to 26,682.