New figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that London Boroughs have the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the country.

London has the highest COVID-19 deaths

The ONS have produced an interactive map. This shows age-standardised mortality rates for all causes and deaths involving COVID-19 in local authorities in England and Wales, deaths occurring between 1 March and 17 April 2020.

Standard Mortality Rates are used to make ‘like for like’ fair comparisons between boroughs, regardless of the actual age of their residents. This method is recognised by the World Health Organisation. It is measured as a ratio – per 100,000 of the population. Full details are here

Ranking the London Boroughs by Standard Mortality Rates (SMR) produces this table of the ten highest COVID-19 deaths in the country:

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The ONS reports that overall, London had 85.7 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 population, almost double the rate of the next worst-affected region which is the West Midlands at 43.2 deaths per 100,000.

Nick Stripe, head of health analysis and life events at the ONS, said: “By mid-April, the region with the highest proportion of deaths involving Covid-19 was London, with the virus being involved in more than 4 in 10 deaths since the start of March.”

Back in 2015, Cllr Alan Hall described the cuts to public health as a “a cruel con-trick that will backfire on all of society – This damages not only the poorest communities but it damages all of us that use the NHS – it’s cutting to the bone.”

A casual glance at the table shows that the most diverse boroughs are generally higher up the table.

As The Guardian reported that the NHS looks to take BAME staff off the frontline for their safety revealing that one in five of NHS staff in England are from a BAME background, as are about half of all doctors in London. Surely, social care workers and other Council staff should be risk assessed as well?

Cllr Alan Hall asks the question – should Councils do the same?

In Lewisham, the lack of PPE has been raised. Cllr Alan Hall wrote to the local Director of Public Health to ask about the supply to social care workers.

A dispute erupted between a private contractor and hospital cleaners at Lewisham Hospital. It should be remembered that cleaners and porters are part of the infection control regime in an acute hospital. The Government issued a Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance which states that “infection prevention” should be interpreted as including cleanliness.

The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign are making six demands to the Government and collecting signatures for a petition, to ‘turn claps into action’ see:

Sign the petition supported by the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign here:

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