Winter death toll highest since 1975: Severe flu outbreak resulted in more than 50,000 extra people dying in England and Wales last year

More than 50,000 excess deaths were recorded across England and Wales last winter, official figures show.

Excess deaths refer to the amount of patients that died unexpectedly, calculated by comparing the mortality rate from winter months to the rest of the year.

The shocking figures have been partially blamed on the deadly strains of flu that swept the nations over the colder months of December to March.

The Office for National Statistics figures show that the number of excess winter deaths were the highest in more than four decades – since 1975/76.

Nick Stripe, head of health analysis and life events at the ONS, said: ‘It is likely that last winter’s increase was due to the predominant strain of flu, the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine and below-average winter temperatures.’

The figures showed that excess winter mortality in 2017 to 2018 significantly increased in just one year in all English regions and Wales, with Wales showing the highest figures.

The only day that didn’t exceed the daily death expectations was March 25.

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