Grieving families demand answers after deaths ‘wrongly attributed to Covid’

An ‘avalanche’ of people have claimed their loved one’s cause of death was recorded as Covid despite them never having been exposed to an outbreak or testing positive to the virus


ByClaire Gilbody-Dickerson


Dozens of families have expressed frustration at their loved one’s cause of death being recorded as Covid (Image: Joel Goodman)

Grieving families are calling for an inquiry into how deaths have been recorded during the pandemic amid claims their loved ones did not die of Covid.

Dozens of families are said to have raised concerns after Bel Mooney revealed that her father, 99, who suffered from dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, had his death recorded as coronavirus.

Bel claimed her dad had passed three Covid-19 tests but was nonetheless registered as one of the 122,000 people who have died of the virus in the UK.

She said when she sought an explanation for this, the care home doctor explained it was because there had been some Covid-related deaths on the same dementia floor, the MailOnline reports.

Grieving families don’t want their loved ones to become another Covid statistic unnecessarily (Image: Joel Goodman)

The families have now teamed up with top medical experts and MPs in lobbying the government to conduct an inquiry into how deaths have been recorded since the outbreak began last March, reports the Daily Mail.

Layla Moran,
MP Layla Moran has called for an interim investigation into how deaths have been recorded (Image: Getty Images)

Mother-of-five Jessie Wylde, 83, had dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lived in Aldergrove Manor care home in Wolverhampton.

Her death on April 26 was recorded as being caused by Covid-19 despite there being no confirmed case of the virus in her care home and her not testing positive to it.

Her son Gary decided to challenge the decision – which had been made by an on-call doctor – and went to Aldergrove’s regular doctor to get Covid removed from his mother’s death certificate.

Tory MP Paul Bristow said: ‘It’s almost certain that a number of deaths have been wrongly attributed to Covid-19.’ (Image: Getty Images)

He said the doctor told him that “in the absence of a test, doctors are encouraged to put down Covid on death certificates,” the Mail reports.

The doctor granted his mother suffered from dementia and COPD and agreed to change the certificate.

Gary successfully managed to get the death certificate or a doctor’s medical certificate cause of death (MCCD) changed as he couldn’t accept he loved one becoming a Covid statistic.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, said the government should arrange an “interim investigation” into all Covid deaths “that should report as soon as possible”.

While Tory MP Paul Bristow, a member of the Commons health committee, said an evaluation of how deaths were recorded during the global pandemic would need to be part of a future inquiry.

He added: “It’s almost certain that a number of deaths have been wrongly attributed to Covid-19.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told the Mirror: “Every death from the virus is a tragedy and our deepest sympathies go out to all those who have lost a loved one.

“We are confident the death statistics are robust and provide an accurate picture of those who have sadly died from the virus.  

“The guidance to doctors completing a medical certificate of cause of death explains they are expected to state a patient’s cause of death to the best of their medical knowledge and belief.”

The UK’s death toll of more than 122,000 far outstrips European counterparts France, Germany and Italy.


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