There was a steep rise in the number of winter deaths in England and Wales last year.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that around 31,100 excess winter deaths occurred in 2012 and 2013, a 29% increase from the previous year.

The majority of the deaths involved people over 75 years of age, with heart disease, stroke and respiratory illness being the most common causes of fatality.

Experts suggest the cold weather is largely to blame. 2013 saw the coldest March since 1962 with a monthly average temperature of just 2.6°C.

The charity Age UK described the figures as “shameful”, saying the frail and elderly cannot keep their homes warm during winter due to the rising price of energy bills.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s director, said: “Excess winter deaths are preventable and today’s figures are a damning indictment of our failure to address the scandal of cold homes in this country.”

The rise in the number of winter deaths put the NHS under immense strain last year and it is expected to be a similar story this year. Many hospitals are already failing to meet the four-hour A&E waiting time target.

A recent report has also revealed that ambulance patients are facing significant delays at A&E. In some cases patients have been forced to wait up to six hours – a far cry from the recommended 15 minutes.

Winter deaths

If your loved one has died because of negligent medical care over the winter months, you need to speak to a solicitor about the care he or she received. Get in touch with us today to talk to a legal expert.

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