Cumbria’s death toll during the last year of the coronavirus pandemic was more than 1,400 higher than during previous years, figures suggest.

That’s according to Public Health England data that compares number of deaths registered during the last year with predicted levels based on previous mortality rates.

The area saw 7,010 deaths from any cause registered between March 21 last year – days before the UK’s first lockdown – and March 19 this year - 1,401 more than the 5,609 predicted based on the previous five years. This shows there were 25 per cent more deaths than expected - higher than the England average of 20 per cent.

So-called “excess deaths” are considered a better measure of the overall impact of Covid-19 than looking at mortality directly linked to the virus, as they capture deaths that may have been indirectly caused. There were 1,478 deaths in Cumbria with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.