More people die in the winter than in the summer in England and Wales, this is known as Excess Winter Deaths (EWD), or Excess Winter Mortality (EWM).
Historically, above-average mortality is seen between December and March in England and Wales.
The standard method defines the winter period as December to March, and compares the number of deaths that occurred in this winter period with the average number of deaths occurring in the preceding August to November and the following April to July.
Excess Winter Mortality calculation:
EWM = winter deaths - average non-winter deaths
This produces the number of excess winter deaths (EWDs).
While there was an unusually high rate of excess winter deaths both locally and nationally in 2014/15, figures for 2015/16 indicate the excess deaths have returned to a more normal rate.
Excess winter deaths are more likely to occur in the elderly. In 2014/15 the excess winter death rate for Females aged 85 and over was significantly higher than the national rate.
Excess winter mortality statistics for 2015/16 suggest that the rate of 85+ deaths declined, this is likely due to the most prevalent strain of the flu virus impacting younger people rather older people, who are more at risk.
Further information on excess winter deaths in South Tyneside can be found in the appendices