DOZENS more people in Dudley have died than would be expected in the last four weeks, new figures show.

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities figures show 87 deaths were registered in the week to January 27, the most recent week for which data is available.

Some 81 people were expected to die that week, meaning six excess deaths were recorded, though this remains well below the two-year peak of 58 excess deaths in the week to February 5, 2021.

Since the turn of the year, 44 excess deaths have been logged.

Across England, there were 548 excess deaths in the week to January 27 – a significant fall on the weekly average of 2,543 in the three weeks before since the turn of the year.

The 3,746 excess deaths recorded in the week to January 13 was the highest on record in almost two years, dating back to the 5,120 logged in the week to February 5, 2021.

Dr Veena Raleigh, senior fellow at the King's Fund, said the recent fall is due in part to falling deaths from flu and Covid-19. Milder weather following cold spells in December and early January has also helped.

Dr Raleigh added: "However, this lull should not lead to complacency. Emergency services remain under intense pressure and the NHS is also facing a rising backlog of care.”

The impact of the pandemic on excess deaths is much reduced than during 2020 and 2021 peaks but still present.

In the week to January 27, 545 (four per cent) of the 13,296 registered deaths across the country had Covid-19 listed on the death certificate. Of them, two were in Dudley.

During previous surges of excess deaths the proportion of Covid-19-caused deaths rose above 33 per cent nationally.

The Department for Health and Social Care said the recent peak in excess deaths was caused by several factors including high flu prevalence, cold weather, ongoing Covid-19 challenges and health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

A spokesperson said: "Our urgent and emergency care recovery plan will further reduce pressure on hospitals by scaling up community teams, expanding virtual wards, and get 800 new ambulances onto the roads."