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Winter Deaths

Volume 264: debated on Thursday 19 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the excess winter death rates were in England in 1993–94 and 1994–95; and if he will make a statement on factors influencing the rate and what initiatives the Government have undertaken in the last five years to affect the rate. [37376]

The excess winter death index for 1993–94 in England and Wales is 14.2. The figure for 1994–95 is not yet available. The index expresses the number of excess winter deaths as a percentage of the average of the number of deaths in the preceding autumn and following summer periods. Excess winter mortality is a complex phenomenon which cannot be directly correlated to cold weather.The Government have continued to fund the highly successful "Keep Warm, Keep Well" campaign, which provides a freephone advice line throughout the winter months. The accompanying brochure, which is available in 11 languages, provides information on financial help, home insulation, heating, and other measures to combat the effects of cold weather, including vaccination against flu.