Coronavirus: Virus deaths error blamed on computer system
A health committee failed to report data on daily coronavirus death because it used a different system than the rest of the Welsh NHS, the Wales medical officer revealed.
Dr Frank Atherton said that the “technical problem” of the Betsi Cadwaladr health council has been corrected.
The health council, which covers North Wales, has assured the government that it will present the figures daily, he said.
An investigation into the error was initiated last week.
Betsi Cadwaladr has been subjected to special measures – close supervision of the Welsh government – since 2015.
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On Friday, the number of deaths reported by Public Health Wales (PHW) increased by 110, bringing the total to 751.
The sudden increase, compared to 17 reported the day before, was due to the fact that 84 deaths were confirmed between March 20 and April 22 in the area of the Betsi Cadwaladr health council.
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to receive an accident report later.
Plaid Cymru said an “urgent explanation” was needed, while Welsh conservatives said he “smacks of top-notch incompetence.”
Speaking on BBC Radio Wales Breakfast, dr. Atherton said: “When the epidemic started earlier this year, Wales set up a new electronic reporting system to be used for health records.
“That was pulling to put the numbers together so that you have a precise figure.
“Betsi Cadwaladr decided not to use that system and used a different system. That’s why there was a technical problem in the process which has now been corrected.”
He said the health council has “assured that they will present the figures every day. Wales’ public health will review the system to make sure there are no other problems elsewhere.”
Driven by the reason it wasn’t noticed until last week, he added: “The epidemic was moving from east to west and from south to north, we expected to see a small number of deaths and cases in the north.
“It’s just that the trend was bigger than expected and that’s what sparked the question of whether the reporting had been done accurately, which led to this review.”
The numbers in the number of admissions were not affected, he said.
PHW has repeatedly warned that the number of deaths could be higher than that shown by the figures, as they included only deaths formally reported to them, those who died in hospitals and some nursing homes and whose tests were analyzed in a laboratory.
“People won’t buy it”
Darren Millar, a member of the Conservative Assembly of Clwyd West, expressed disbelief at Dr. Atherton.
He said chirping: “People in North Wales will not buy this explanation. They take us for cups? As a special measures health committee, if there is any SSN organization that should do things right when reporting to the Welsh government, it’s Betsi . “
In the meantime, dr. Atherton said he was concerned that people might have “block fatigue”.
He said there seemed to be multiple cars in motion. He warned of tighter restrictions if the drops in the spread of the virus were reversed.