England and Wales show a five per cent increase in mortality rates in just one year
England and Wales has suffered the biggest annual rise in deaths for almost fifty years, according to new figures which last night prompted warnings of an urgent crisis in care of the elderly.
Health experts last night called for an urgent investigation after statistics revealed a five per cent increase in mortality rates in just one year.
Advisors to Public Health England (PHE) warned of a “strong and flashing” warning light, and said trends over the last four years suggest the rise in deaths may now be the highest since World War Two.
They said the elderly were now bearing the brunt of a growing crisis in the NHS and cuts to social care, with women suffering the most.
The preliminary data from the Office of National Statistics shows that in just one year, there were 5.4 per cent more deaths in England – equating to almost 27,000 extra deaths.
The year-on-year rise, to a total of 528,340 deaths, is the highest since 1968. There were more deaths last year than any year since 2003. Figures show that numbers of deaths have fallen steadily since the 70s, but that trend began to reverse in 2011.