Care homes in Huntingdonshire have seen nearly a 30 per cent increase in deaths in the last 10 weeks, figures reveal.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for deaths in care homes in the district - since the coronavirus outbreak - stand at 103 in comparison to the first 10 weeks of 2020 at 81.

Deaths registered in care homes, hospices, hospitals and at home have seen an eight per cent increase in the district from 367 (between January and March) to 397 (March to May).

Hospital deaths have increased from 163 to 173 and deaths at home from 93 to 97.

It comes as the last nine weeks have seen more than 56,000 “excess” deaths above the five-year weekly averages registered across England and Wales.

In week 21, the number of deaths in care homes from all causes in England and Wales was 1,289 higher than the five-year average, while in hospitals the number of deaths was 24 fewer than the five-year average.

The number of deaths registered in the week ending May 22 was 12,288; this is 2,285 less than the previous week but 2,348 more than the five-year average.

Some regions were also further above their five-year weekly average deaths than others.

The North East was 40 per cent above, the East of England 30 per cent and Yorkshire & The Humber 29 per cent whereas the South West was eight per cent above and Wales 13 per cent.

It was revealed at the end of May that half of all patients across the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust with Covid-19 were being treated at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

It led to concerns over possible hotspots of outbreaks of the virus in St Neots, Huntingdon and Sawtry, but numbers have now reduced since the peak of the outbreak.

Data released to mark the start of Carers Week on Monday estimates that 4.5 million more people are now caring for older, disabled or seriously ill family or friends as a result of the pandemic.

This is on top of 9.1 million people who were already caring for loved ones before the crisis erupted.

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