Excess deaths in Scotland since the start of the pandemic

Closed 28 Jan 2022

Opened 9 Dec 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The COVID-19 Recovery Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the cause of excess deaths in Scotland since the start of the pandemic.

Figure 1 below highlights the total deaths, excess deaths and average deaths in the previous 5 years in the period April 2020 to October 2021.

A line graph showing Covid-19 deaths by day, total deaths by day and the average of number of deaths by day for the past five years

Source: Scottish Government

This shows that deaths in Scotland are 11% above the average for this time of year and have been above the average for the last 26 weeks.

What is unclear, is the extent to which this is being caused by the COVID-19 caseload, or the indirect health effects of the pandemic.

Key questions

The Committee would like your views on the following questions:

  1. Has the public health emergency shifted from COVID-19 deaths to deaths from non-COVID-19 conditions?
  2. Is there evidence that patients are now presenting in a more acute condition?
  3. What accounts for the deaths from non-COVID-19 conditions?
  4. Is there enough of a strategic focus on the indirect health impacts of the pandemic?
  5. What are the realistic options open to the government in addressing the indirect health impact of the virus in winter 2021/22?

How to submit your views

Please submit your views using the online submission form.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.

The call for views closes on 10 January 2022.


  • HSCS