HUNDREDS more deaths than expected were recorded in Bolton last year, according to Public Health England.

Based on estimates for 2015-19, Bolton was predicted to see 2,602 deaths from any cause in 2021, but instead 2,987 were recorded last year 385 more.

Of the deaths registered last year, 355 coming to 12 per cent, had Covid-19 on the death certificate.

King's Fund think tank senior fellow Veena Raleigh said: "Covid-19 has struck in waves, and its future course is uncertain.

"However, although the pandemic has taken a toll of life that is unprecedented in recent years, the signs are that it is abating.

"Many factors will have contributed to this, the vaccination programme in particular."

In 2020, there were 532 excess deaths in the area, though figures for that year only began at the end of March.

Excess deaths are considered by think tanks like the King's Fund to be a better measure of the overall impact of Covid-19 than simply looking at mortality directly linked to the virus, as they capture deaths that may have been indirectly caused by the crisis.

Since March 2020, 115,600 excess deaths have been recorded across England, causing a greater fall in life expectancy than anything seen since the Second World War, according to the King’s Fund.

In Bolton, the highest weekly excess death total came in the seven days to July 16 when the area recorded 24 excess deaths.

By contrast, there were 12 fewer deaths in the week ending April 2 than had been predicted.