A charity is calling for an investigation after figures showed a steep rise in excess deaths from dementia and diabetes during lockdown.

New figures from National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that the number of deaths from dementia rose by a quarter (24.5 per cent) between April and June to 1727.

Deaths from diabetes soared by 26.2 per cent, while those from diseases of the genitourinary system rose by 22.5 per cent.

Age Scotland has expressed concern as new figures released today (SEPT 9) show a steep rise in excess deaths from dementia, diabetes and other causes during the lockdown.

Scotland’s leading charity for older people is calling for an investigation into the causes to identify whether the removal of social care packages or reduced access to medical care contributed to this.

There were also increases in deaths from cancer (1.5 per cent) and cerebrovascular disease (5.3 per cent).

Deaths from Covid-19 accounted for 83 per cent of the 4515 excess deaths compared to the five year average for this quarter.

Brian Sloan, Chief Executive of Age Scotland, said: “These figures are extremely concerning, and there is a clear need for further investigation. Not only have older people borne the brunt of the health impact from coronavirus, but they have also been at greater risk of death from other causes, such as dementia and diabetes.

“While it’s hard to speculate on the reasons, it’s likely there is a link to the pandemic. We know that health and social services were under a huge strain during these months, and many people were reluctant or unable to seek medical assistance.

“We’re also very concerned that the wholesale removal of social care packages for recipients across Scotland in late March could have had a significant impact on many people’s health and well-being.

“These figures might also only be the tip of the iceberg. While cancer deaths only increased slightly, the postponement of routine screening and a sharp fall in urgent referrals could have very serious consequences going forward. Cancer is a leading cause of death in Scotland, and it’s absolutely vital that we redouble efforts to ensure early detection and tackle the backlog of people awaiting treatment.

“Each of these deaths is a devastating loss for their family and friends. We urgently need to look at the reasons for these excess deaths and ensure that every person is able to access the health and social care they need. As we go into winter, we need to ensure that the NHS and social care providers have the resources and support they need.”