More than a dozen homeless people have died in Worcestershire over the past six years, more than three times the national average.

The chief executive of Worcester’s St Paul’s Hostel, Jonathan Sutton, called the deaths ‘tragic’ and said they were often without dignity but added he hopes services can be improved.

Mr Sutton said: “These are people who have died, often without dignity in tragic circumstances.

"In Worcestershire the Adult Safeguarding Board has agreed to undertake a thematic review of the deaths since 2016 so that lessons can be learnt and services improved.”

“Worcester should be a city where all forms of homelessness is rare, brief and seldom recurring and colleagues on the Worcester Cares Homeless Forum are working hard to close the gaps in our safety nets and additional resources have been given by government to open a shelter in the Salvation Army in October and that will help.”

In the county, the mortality rate for homeless people is 52.7 deaths per million population. with the average across England and Wales being 16.7.

Malvern man Joby Sparrey was found dead in a town centre shop doorway on Christmas Day last year.

And in October, Remigiusz Boczarski, who slept in a disused bus shelter in Wells Road, Malvern, was found dead on the Malvern Hills.

In July 2016, the body of Cardon Banfield was found in a tent on the banks of the River Severn in Worcester.

Office of National Statistics figures show that an estimated 12 homeless people died in Worcester between 2013 and 2018. There were four deaths in the area last year, according to the figures.