COVID-19: Death Data in England – Update 31st May

May 31, 2020

Jason Oke, Carl Heneghan

NHS England releases data at 2 pm each day and reports daily count up to the previous day as well as a total figure. We wrote about the problems with reconciling the different data here:

Today’s reported figure is 85 deaths in hospitals in England: 63 (74%) of these were in the last week.

For comparison: the reported deaths in hospitals in England on the same weekday were:

There were 13 (9.9%) Hospital Trusts* with no deaths reported in the last 7 days, and 69 (52.7%) reported no deaths in the last 48 hours.

This is the first time that > 50% of Type 1 Hospital Trusts have reported no admissions in the last 48 hours.  A note of caution, though, reporting on the weekends tends to be lower than days in the week.

*The sample includes 131 Type 1 A&E departments that are consultant-led 24-hour service with full resuscitation facilities and designated accommodation for the reception of accident and emergency patients.

Consistent with previous analyses, the peak day of deaths was the 8th of April. The deaths are  distributed across the following days:

By  setting:

Deaths in Care home peaked later than hospitals on the 17th of April.

 By region:

By age:

Note: the y-axis for the age graphs have been adjusted to allow for comparisons (in previous days the axis were different scales).

The reporting of deaths by  NHS England underestimate those reported by the Office for National Statistics  – One reason for this is NHS England’s data does not include deaths reported outside hospitals.


Jason Oke is a Senior Statistician at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Module Coordinator for Statistical Computing with R and Stata (EBHC Med Stats), and introduction to Statistics for Healthcare Researchers (EBHC).

Carl Heneghan is Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine and Director of Studies for the Evidence-Based Health Care Programmes (Full bio and disclosure statement here)

Disclaimer the article has not been peer-reviewed; it should not replace individual clinical judgement, and the sources cited should be checked. The views expressed in this commentary represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the host institution, the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care. The views are not a substitute