Number of NHS staff dying in service double that of previous years

Multiple sources now estimate that over 650 health and social care workers have now died of COVID-19. 

Matt Bodell
24 September 2020
Working nurses in the CCU

In the first quarter of the year, 403 NHS workers in England died.

The number of NHS staff who have died in service is nearly double that of previous years, according to official figures.


Offical workforce figures published by NHS Digital show that in the first quarter of 2020 a total of 403 NHS workers in England died while employed by the health service.

In real terms, this means an increase of 188 deaths when compared with an average of the past ten years.

A report for the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in June revealed that occupations, such as nurses, with high potential exposure to COVID-19, had elevated rates of deaths registered involving COVID-19.

Ministers have since been asked medical examiners to review the deaths of health and social care workers who died during the peak of the pandemic in order to determine if their death could be attributed to occupational exposure to the virus.


The investigation follows numerous and ongoing reports of shortages of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) – something the British Medical Association branded “a national scandal”. 

Multiple sources now estimate that over 650 health and social care workers have now died of COVID-19.

Anthony Johnson, lead organiser for the grassroots group Nurses United UK commented; “We all know that half of all Nurses and Midwives are set to retire within the next 10 years.

“The number of Nurses dying in service has doubled. How are the Government celebrating this moment? We can’t get enough PPE and we can’t get tested.


Adding; “Nurses need to get organised and say that they’ve had enough.”

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