Second case of ‘under-reporting’ coronavirus deaths as 31 added in west Wales
Another 31 coronavirus deaths have been added to the toral by Public Health Wales after a second case where a health board “underreported” the numbers who had died.
Betsi Cadwaladr health board reported 84 deaths in the north Wales area last Thursday, but said they had happened over a whole month and had not been reported.
Today a total of 31 coronavirus deaths in Hywel Dda Health Board in the west of Wales were added to the total.
Speaking at the Welsh Government’s daily press conference on Wednesday, Vaughan Gething described it as a “material underreporting issue”.
“We’re absolutely clear now, that all the reporting systems are consistent, everyone is going to use the same reporting method,” he said.
“And that should then mean that from the figures today and tomorrow will be fully up to date.
“And what I think is really important is it doesn’t change our understanding of the disease profile across Wales.
“But there are certainly lessons to learn as we progress through this about each part of our system, share information with each other, and then the confidence of public have but also ministers have in making choices and providing information to the public.”
Wales’ Chief Medical Officer said the original failure to report daily coronavirus death figures had been caused because Betsi Cadwaladr used a different reporting system to one set-up for the Welsh NHS.
Hospitals are supposed to use a Covid-19 mortality surveillance e-form but it was not implemented across all health boards.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) registered 1,017 coronavirus deaths by 17 April – higher than Public Health Wales figures for the same period.
That is because the ONS includes deaths at home, in care homes and in hospices, not just hospitals.