Scottish Government
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New process for reporting COVID-19 deaths

New system in place.

The Scottish Government has outlined details of the improved process to report COVID-19 deaths that began yesterday, Thursday April 2.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has worked with National Records of Scotland (NRS) to put the new, more efficient procedure in place, which involves cross-checking records between HPS and NRS to identify individuals who have died and have a laboratory confirmed report of COVID-19.

The new system no longer requires manual data returns from Health Protection Teams and will not be dependent upon separate confirmation that the next of kin have been informed of a link with COVID-19, given this is now incorporated within the death certification process. This will reduce delays in reporting COVID-19 deaths.

As part of this new system, 40 deaths, which would not yet have been reported under the old system – because next of kin had not been informed - have been included and allocated to the last three days as appropriate.  

There is no change in the definition used to report deaths of COVID-19, which is defined as an individual who has died and has had a laboratory confirmed report of COVID-19 in the 28 days prior to death.

The data below shows the running total of the number of deaths reported, under the old and new systems, of those confirmed to have died from Coronavirus across the last few days. There are now 126 deaths confirmed using the new system.

HPS old data collation approach

Tuesday 31 March – 60

Wednesday 1 April – 76

Thursday 2 April – 86

HPS new approach using NRS records linked to laboratory data

Tuesday 31 March – 69

Wednesday 1 April – 97

Thursday 2 April – 126


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