HSJ’s unique analysis shows the spread of hospital deaths confirmed as coronavirus cases to date, by area, as well as the regional growth trends.

The deaths in English hospitals of a further 185 people who tested positive for coronavirus have been reported today (28 May). The cumulative total is now 26,234.

The figures were collated between 5pm on 25 May and 5pm on 26 May, but due to the need to inform relatives and authenticate reports, many of the deaths occurred earlier than this period. It is also very likely that some deaths which did occur during these 24 hours — and before — have not yet been recorded, normally for the same reasons.

The figures do not include those who have died from the virus outside of hospital, nor those where covid-19 has not been specifically recorded as a cause.

Due to late reporting, hospital deaths data is only considered robust until 22 May. At that point, the weekly running average had declined for 41 consecutive days and, at 992, was 82 per cent lower than the peak recorded on 10 April.

The pace of decline began to slow on 4 May, accelerated again on 11 May, but started to slow once more on 15 May.

Across the country deaths are halving once every 18 days.

Coronavirus deaths peaked around 9-13 April in all seven NHS England regions, except the north west – which topped out on 16 April.

The weekly average of deaths in London has fallen 94 per cent – 1474 on 9 April to 92 on 22 May. The other six regions – whose peaks were much lower than in London – have seen significantly lower falls (see chart below).

The south west

Through the pandemic, the south west has been the least affected region. However, it now also appears to be the first region where deaths have stopped declining.

The south west saw 35 Covid hospital fatalities in the seven days up to 22 May. This had risen to 40 in the seven-day period ending 27 May. The latter number is likely to rise as recent deaths are confirmed.

Further analysis shows that it is just two of the region’s six STPs which are driving the increases. Together the two M4 corridor STPs recorded 25 deaths in the seven days to 22 May, compared to the nine recorded in the region’s (and the country’s) five most south westerly STPs.

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Coronavirus deaths mapped: weekly deaths fall below 1000 for first time