There are two sources of COVID-19 related deaths data:
- those produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
- those from NHS England
There are differences in these figures which are shown below:
ONS Covid-19 Deaths Data
Deaths involving COVID-19 are reported each week. This is within the ONS Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and health board provisional release.
From 31 March, ONS has included separate counts of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19). This is based on the details collected when registering deaths at local registration offices.
These include every death registered in the relevant week mentioning COVID-19 on the death certificate. It does not have to be the underlying cause of death.
It takes at least five days for most deaths to be certified by a doctor, then registered and the data processed. This means the ONS figures are always slightly out of date. The weekly numbers reported as “occurring” change over time, as more deaths are registered that happened in past weeks.
Unlike most ONS publications on deaths, these figures are based on occurrence (date of death), not date of registration.
Note: there are some situations that result in the registration of the death being delayed. For example, when a death needs to be investigated by a coroner.
Summary of differences
- All deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, even if only suspected.
- Includes deaths that happened in any setting i.e. hospital, at home, in a care homes etc.
- ONS data will be in arrears by approximately 10 days
NHS England Covid-19 Daily Deaths
NHS England release daily updates. This data only shows deaths of patients who died in hospitals in England and had either:
- tested positive for COVID-19, or
- where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate
These figures do not include deaths outside hospital, in care homes or the wider community.
The data includes confirmed cases reported as at 4pm the previous day and each day there may be corrections to previous reported figures.
This means that previously published daily counts will not necessarily sum to the latest cumulative figure. This approach allows us to compile deaths data on a daily basis using up-to-date figures.
Summary of differences
- Only those tested positive for covid19 or where it was mentioned on the death certificate
- Does not include deaths outside hospital, in care homes or the wider community
- Data as at 4pm the previous day
Please note: the data provided is broken down to Hospital Trust rather than Local Authority Area.
For Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the Trusts include:
- Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
- Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
However some residents from Cornwall, mainly in the North and East of the County, are treated in neighbouring hospital:
- University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
- Royal Devon And Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
- Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
So figures for these hospitals may also contain deaths of people who usually live in Cornwall.