NINE new coronavirus deaths have been recorded at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust in the latest 24-hour period, the latest official figures show.

NHS England figures show 587 people had died in hospital at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust as of 5pm on Wednesday (December 23).

That was an increase of nine compared to Tuesday, when there were 578.

It means there have been 37 deaths in the past week, up from 32 the previous week.

The victims were among 9,234 deaths recorded across the North West, which is the second-worst affected of England's seven NHS regions after the midlands.

Daily death counts are revised each day, with each case backdated to the actual date of death.

This means some of the deaths that were first recorded in the latest period may actually have taken place days earlier.

NHS England guidance states: "Confirmation of Covid-19 diagnosis, death notification and reporting in central figures can take up to several days and the hospitals providing the data are under significant operational pressure."

Only deaths that occur in hospitals where the patient has tested positive for Covid-19 are recorded, with deaths in the community excluded, such as those in care homes.