Press Office

Covid-19 deaths

New analysis shows that COVID-19 continues to hit North hard

Published on: 3 July 2020

New analysis shows a larger increase in COVID-19 deaths, and from all causes, in the North compared to the South and indicates the efficacy of lockdown has differed across the UK.

The analysis by the Northern Health Science Alliance, involving Newcastle University, in collaboration with the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) in the North East & North Cumbria and Greater Manchester, indicates that the lockdown decreased mortality rates much faster in London and South East than in the North East.

That data maps ONS figures on COVID deaths, and deaths from all causes, across the main train lines in England to see how different urban and rural centres performed compared to the national average in the months of March, April and May.

Clasping hands

Peak in mortality rates

Mortality rates in London and the South decreased much faster between April and May than they did in the North. The three regions with the highest COVID mortality in May are all in the North: the North East, the North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Although mortality rates peaked in all areas in April, the month-by-month analysis suggest that the lock down decreased mortality much more effectively in London and the South East than in other parts of the UK which could have implications when looking at local lockdowns to manage further waves of the virus.

Professor Clare Bambra, of Newcastle University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, said: “The pandemic is evolving differently across the North and the South of England. This needs to be taken into account when developing the next stages of our response.

“We cannot have centralised, one size fits all policies when different regions are at different stages of the pandemic.”

Health inequalities

Hannah, Davies, Health Inequalities lead for the Northern Health Science Alliance, said: “These figures add more weight to the negative relationship between health inequalities and COVID-19, they also provide an argument to take a place-based approach to managing outbreaks in different areas.

“Closer investigation into the impact of lockdown measures in different areas of the country could potentially add intelligence to public health management of further waves of the virus.”

The NHSA is a partnership established by the leading Universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region by creating an internationally recognised life science and healthcare system.


Latest News