THERE were more than 300 'excess deaths' in Worcestershire care homes during an eight week period at the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures show.

At the height of the pandemic in April, in one week alone around 100 more people than usual died compared to previous years, revealing the care home crisis in our county.

The data - known as excess deaths - is one of the best ways of looking at the impact of Covid-19 as it compares the number of people who have died this year, whatever the cause, with the average per week between 2015 and 2019.

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The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures shows that the worst week during the pandemic for county care homes was April 17 to April 24, when than were 102.4 extra deaths. The week after, April 24 to May 1, was the second highest with 67.6 extra deaths, followed by April 3 to April 10 when there were 49.8 extra deaths.

The effect of lockdown in bringing down the number of deaths can also be seen in the data. In the week of May 15 to May 22 the excess deaths were down to 13.6 and the week after that, May 22-29, there were five. In total, between March 27 and May 22 more than 327 extra people died than normal.

In Bromsgrove - the worst hit area for Covid-19 - during its worst week, between April 17 and April 24, there were 23.4 extra deaths.

The worst week in Worcester care homes was April 24 to May 1 when 13 more people than usual died. This was followed by April 17 to April 24, with 11 excess deaths, and April 3 to April 10, when there were 9.2 extra deaths.