South Essex hospitals have suffered the second highest number of Covid-19 deaths in the UK since the start of the pandemic.

The Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust – which runs Basildon, Southend and Broomfield Hospitals – has recorded 2,353 fatalities since last March, according to NHS England data.

This puts the trust second in the country for the number of Covid deaths faced in the past year, with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust having the highest death toll, recording 2,578 fatalities.

Combined, the trusts account for around four per cent of all Covid deaths in the UK.

They are the only health providers to have faced more than 2,000 victims during the period.

Bosses at the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust say that operating as the third largest bed base in the country has meant they’ve cared for “very high numbers” of patients.


A spokesperson said: “Covid infections and community transmission rates in some parts of Essex were amongst the highest in England during the second wave, which led to very high numbers of Covid admissions to our three hospitals.

“Since the trust merged in April 2020, it has become one of the largest hospital trusts in the country and we operate the third largest bed base in England.

“This means that as an organisation we have cared for very high numbers of Covid patients during peaks in infection, which sadly also affects the number of Covid related deaths we have seen.”

Trevor Harp, Southend Council's health and adult social care boss, says a rise in infection is once again likely when restrictions are eased in the coming weeks – but hopes following strict guidelines will help keep this under control.

He said: “Thankfully, figures are going down and continuing to go in the right direction. That being said, it’s important that we maintain that and keep them low.

“Because we are lifting restrictions we will see a slight rise in infection, where more people are mixing again. But that’s exactly why we need to carry on what we’re doing, we don’t want to be in the position where another lockdown is needed.

“Social distancing, washing your hands and being tested is vital. Please be sensible and use your common sense.”