Data reveals Covid factor in deaths of people with learning disabilities

An apology has been given to the family by Hertfordshire County Council. Picture: Getty Images/iStoc

The cause of deaths data was compiled as part of an NHS project - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

New data has revealed that nearly half the deaths of people in Essex with learning disabilities last year were related to Covid-19.

Statistics from the Learning Disability Mortality Review programme (LeDeR), an NHS project, show that 185 people with learning disabilities died across the county between 2020-2021, of which 81 were from the virus.

But the findings, included in a West Essex CCG report, also said this 44% rate dropped to 33% when only considering cases where Covid was the direct cause of death.

A section of the report read: “Nearly half the deaths of people with LD were related to Covid.

“Pneumonia (linked to frailty or aspiration), cancer and sepsis are also common direct causes of death.”

According to the report, 185 deaths in 2020-2021 is an increase compared with just under 100 in the last two years.

People with learning disabilities are dying around 20 years younger than other people, the report said.

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In January 2021, the rate of deaths due to Covid for people with learning disabilities peaked at 73%.

LeDeR has set vulnerable people in the community, lack of diagnosis, improving coordination and public health issues as areas of focus for 2022.


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