The heatwave was particularly strong in the South East

The blistering summer heatwave led to a spate of deaths, with 1,661 people dying on just one day.

Elderly people, very young children and those who already suffer from health conditions are particularly at risk during a heatwave.

Now, new statistics have been released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reveal that July 19 had unusually high death rates.


With the mercury soaring to 33.5C (92.3F), there were 1,661 deaths recorded across England and Wales. On average, there are usually 1,267.
Mortality peak

According to the report: “There was an unusual peak in mortality around 19 July 2016. Trends in provisional temperature data from this period show that there were higher than average temperatures around 19 July 2016, which may explain the peak in mortality at this time.”

Summer saw unusually high temperatures throughout July, with temperatures on the 19th above 30C for much of the country. Brize Norton in Oxfordshire recorded the highest temperatures of the summer with 33.5C.

The statistics also revealed that there was an unusual spike in winter deaths the previous year, with 43,850 excess winter deaths recorded during 2014/15. However between December and March of 2015/16, there were 24,300 additional deaths compared with the rest of the year.

Officials said that the flu virus during 2015/16 had mainly affected younger people rather than the elderly, which meant there was a fall in the number of deaths among older people. A third of deaths last winter were as a result of respiratory diseases.

Statistician Dr Anne Campbell said: “One of the key factors behind the lower excess mortality this winter was a fall in the number of deaths among the elderly. This was mainly due to the most prevalent strain of the flu virus impacting younger people rather older people, who are more at risk.”

People who work with the elderly said they hoped the release of the data would encourage the elderly and vulnerable, and their carers, to make sure they took extra care as temperatures plummet.