Deaths in Maldon fell below usual levels in July following a spike, official figures have shown.

Office for National Statistics figures show 44 deaths were recorded in Maldon during July, 14 fewer than the number recorded in July 2019.

This was after Maldon saw a jump in fatalities in the previous month, with 18 more deaths recorded compared to June 2019.

It was the same story across Essex as a whole, with the death count falling slightly from 1,241 to 1,048.

Across England and Wales, there were 40,731 deaths recorded in July.

The first time deaths has dropped below last years level since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

But the British Medical Association said it was difficult to draw conclusions from the drop in deaths.

Chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said it was "imperative" the Government give the NHS the resources it needs to deal with a "triple whammy of the non-Covid backlog, the ongoing risk of a second spike, and winter pressure".

He said: “The pandemic was a shock to the world, but as coronavirus reached our shores, our overstretched NHS already had record waits for operations, cancer treatments and GP appointments.

"This lack of capacity forced the NHS to halt so many services during the pandemic. For over three months we didn’t have a National Health Service but primarily a national Covid service.

"This hidden impact of the pandemic in part explains the tragic levels of excess mortality in the UK with an estimated 12,000 of these deaths being attributed to non-Covid causes."