The area in St Helens with most Covid-19 deaths revealed

Thatto Heath and Lea Green has had more deaths linked to the coronavirus than anywhere else in St Helens, new figures show.

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 7:56 am
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 24 people died in Thatto Heath and Lea Green with the virus between March and June

With large inequalities seen throughout communities across England, anti-poverty charity Turn2us urged the Government to focus on levelling up neighbourhoods, not just the regions of the UK.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics, which break down the number of deaths involving Covid-19 to areas within local authorities, show 24 people died in Thatto Heath and Lea Green with the virus between March and June.

In these cases, coronavirus was the underlying cause or was mentioned on the death certificate as a contributory factor.

At the other end of the scale, Earlestown North had one recorded death – the lowest of St Helens's 23 areas.

Deprived areas across England had death rates related to Covid-19 of more than double that of the most affluent parts – 139.6 per 100,000 compared to 63.4.

Turn2us said the figures highlight the extreme inequalities that affect so many people.

Sara Willcocks, head of communications at the charity, said: "We may all be weathering the same storm, but we are certainly not all in the same boat. For a society that believes in compassion, we must right these wrongs of social injustices.

"We urge the government to focus on levelling up not just regions of the UK but also our neighbourhoods.

"Everyone deserves the right to access high quality jobs, affordable housing and a strong social security system that gives people the support they need; when they need it, so local communities can thrive together."

In St Helens, 196 people have died since the start of the pandemic with eight deaths linked to coronavirus in June.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the statistics are another "grim reminder" that it is the people living in more deprived areas who are bearing the brunt of this disease.

Peter Matejic, head of evidence at the organisation, said: "It is utterly wrong that someone’s life chances are so deeply impacted by where they live.

“Already worsening before the pandemic hit, we cannot allow our record on tackling poverty and health inequalities to unravel any further. As we start to rebuild, the government must urgently address the structural problems that have contributed to these tragic deaths. We can and must do better.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said the disparity in mortality rates highlighted in the report is greater than the inequality seen in previous years.

He added: “We are committing to better understanding and reducing the disparity in health outcomes – in the context of coronavirus and more broadly. This is central to the work being taken forward by the Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch.

“We are continuing to learn as much as we can, as quickly as we can, about this virus - who it affects and how best to protect those who may be more vulnerable than others, while keeping everyone safe.”