Deaths at home increased in Scotland at the start of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by ~35%. The majority did not involve COVID-19. This has implications for resource allocation and care at the end of life.
Publicly available weekly death registrations by National Records Scotland (NRS) between 2015 and week 25 of 2023 were summarized by place of death. Linear and logistic regressions of the number and proportion of deaths at home, respectively, between 2015 and 2019, were used to estimate the expected number and proportion of deaths in the period 2020–2023 had the pandemic not happened.
The number of deaths at home continues in 2023 at rates similar to the pandemic period and has not reverted to pre-pandemic levels. Had the pre-pandemic trend of growth in deaths at home continued, the number of deaths observed in 2020 would not be observed until 2025–2032. Deaths at home increased across Local Authorities but the scale of the increase varied. The impact of the increased number of deaths at home on quality of care and quality of death is not known and requires further study.