New figures have revealed an 11% drop in the number of people dying in the north-east last winter.
A total of 2,024 deaths were recorded across the NHS Grampian region between December and March, with a total of 270 of these fatalities attributed to the “seasonal difference”.
This compares to 2017-18 when the region recorded its highest winter death rate this century with 2,274 deaths, of which 500 were “additional” due to the season.
In Aberdeen, there were 749 deaths between December and March, down from 919 in 2017-18.4
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Meanwhile, in Aberdeenshire, there were 876 deaths in the three-month winter period, compared to 955 in 2017-18.
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “It’s good we are looking at a significant reduction in the number of deaths which shows that measures such as flu jabs are working. It’s important they continue to be available to as many people as possible to protect people from any unnecessary suffering.”
The figures, released by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), reveal there were 20,188 deaths registered across Scotland – 13% fewer than the previous winter.
There is no single cause of “additional” deaths in winter but the underlying causes include circulatory system diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke, respiratory system diseases such as influenza, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and dementia and Alzheimer’s.
An NHS Grampian spokesman said the health board is “encouraged” by the recent data, adding they are already “hard at work” planning for the coming winter.
He said: “Our performance is down to the hard work of our staff and we’d like to thank them for all their valuable contributions across the winter period.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “We know that winter creates particular pressures on our health and social care system.
“This is why it is crucial that those with underlying health conditions, those who are pregnant or are older than 65 receive their free flu vaccination.”