Council publishes report on excess winter deaths

Published September 13, 2018 at 10:43

The council has published a report on excess winter deaths in the borough.

It has found that the rate of excess winter deaths is not significantly higher than that across England but recommends closer partnership working to tackle the issue.

A group of five Rossendale councillors was convened earlier this year to look into the issue. This followed a report published in January by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on excess winter mortality in England and Wales.

Excess winter deaths are defined as the difference between the numbers of deaths in winter months compared to non-winter months. The ONS report showed Rossendale to have the highest number in East Lancashire in 2015/16.

The councillors investigated the reasons for Rossendale’s figures, what action could be taken to reduce the number of deaths and what role the council could play in this. They held a scrutiny day where they consulted with a range of health and social care professionals, and received a detailed breakdown of the statistics.

Their report concludes that Rossendale’s excess winter death rate for 2013 to 2016 was not significantly higher than the England rate, and that there are many contributory factors.

The report also recommends that the borough’s health partnerships create an action plan to improve collaborative working and better co-ordinate services.

Councillor Adrian Lythgoe who chaired the group said:

We are determined to better understand the issues around excess winter deaths. That’s why we undertook this investigation and I am grateful to all the professionals who took part in the scrutiny day.

Going forward, we hope that an action plan will now be produced which will lead to different organisations working together more effectively to help stop people in the borough falling ill in the first place.

Councillor Barbara Ashworth, Rossendale Council’s portfolio holder for health and housing, added:

I welcome this report and wish to thank everyone who contributed to it.

Although our excess winter death rate over three years is in line with that nationally, there was an increase in 2015/16. Everyone has a role to play in tackling this and it is import that we challenge ourselves and our partners to do more to keep our most vulnerable residents safe.

The report was presented to the September 12 Cabinet meeting.


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