Deaths continue their upwards trend and there is little sign of improvement, but it is really (grimly) interesting to delve in to the detail. Hold on to your hats. Please see the accompanying vlog over on Inform Scotland channel on YouTube.
In Graph 1 you can see that mortality rates are unprecedented for this time of year and on an upwards trend. It has turned down this last week a little but still sitting at 25% above the 5-year average. We are now on the 21st consecutive week of excess death.
Looking at monthly mortality rates, things don’t look quite so extreme, but it is absolutely bizarre, after an epidemic, to see death rates consistently worse, as we see 2021 has been, notwithstanding the spring 2020 peak.
Graph 3 shows how worrying the upwards trend in deaths is – it’s entirely unprecedented. I have tried to look at deaths over all years since 1974 and I cannot see any other time that deaths have done this. In epidemics, deaths rise and fall fast. This upwards gradient hasn’t ever been seen as far as I can see. We are now close to the January peak from this year.
During the pandemic (considering it now over, as it must be because pandemics don’t last this long – ever), deaths moved from hospital to home. Home deaths have remained fairly consistent, but you can see now that hospital deaths have been rising consistently for 30 weeks now. This is in line with reports we are hearing from hospitals that things are pretty bad there. The post-booster (?) spike in care homes seems to be over.
Hospital cancer deaths have been rising consistently for 40 weeks while in other settings they are remaining quite stable. It’s a consistent, if slow, upwards trend, since the start of 2021. It’s not hugely significant, but these are people’s lives we are talking about.
There was a large spike in Dementia deaths during the first wave of coronavirus, and last winter at the start of 2021 there was a fairly significant deficit. But Dementia deaths have been rising, showing a clear trend since January 2021.
Circulatory deaths in the home are stable but in hospitals and care homes are rising, and we can see in Graph 7 a consistent rise since the start of this year.
I could write a book about what I think about respiratory deaths in Scotland since 2020. We have now had a deficit for about 2 years. Looking at the extreme deficit at the start of this year is extremely interesting – see accompanying video for an explanation of my thoughts – it’s easier to speak than to write sometimes. You may form your own conclusions – please comment. Anyway, whatever you think, we have been seeing a rise since the start of this year and we are now back up to normal levels. Remember Covid deaths aren’t logged as Respiratory
Covid deaths still overwhelmingly occurring in hospitals. Graph 9.
Again, a significant and consistent rise in this ‘other’ category for 30 weeks now. We are as high as we were during the April 2020 wave and the vaccine January wave. We have been fluctuating well above baseline for 28 weeks.Graph 10
Graphs 11, 12, 13
Graph 14 shows that care home deaths have been slowly rising for 30 weeks and in hospitals for about 30 weeks. It might be interesting for you to compare the 2020 and 2021 traces.
A closer look at 2021 in Graph 15.
Stay tuned 📺
Stay sane 🧠
Stay strong 💪
Remember I love you ❤