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By Debbie le Quesne

Cuts blamed on huge hike in deaths

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We said it may happen: Government cuts to social services could lead to more deaths. As they say, ‘it’s a given.’

Not surprisingly, the Telegraph has reported it could be the “largest factor” in the biggest annual rise in deaths in England and Wales for nearly half a century.

The data comes from the Office for National Statistics, which says that mortality rates last year rose by 5.4 per cent compared with 2014 – equivalent to almost 27,000 extra deaths.

This increase is the highest since 1968 and took the total number of deaths in 2015 to 528,340.

Interestingly, death rates in England and Wales have been steadily falling since the 1970s but the trend took a turnaround in 2011.

Advisers to Public Health England are calling for an investigation and add that the figures show the elderly, especially women, were now bearing the brunt of a growing crisis in the National Health Service and cuts to social care.

Quote – Professor Danny Dorling, from Oxford University and an adviser to Public Health England on older age life expectancy: “When we look at 2015, we are not just looking at one bad year. We have seen excessive mortality – especially among women – since 2012.”

He adds: “I suspect the largest factor here is cuts to social services – to meals on wheels, to visits to the elderly.”

Last year there was a £1.1bn cut in adult social care budgets.

We appear to have an ageing population that’s now more vulnerable to death and according to Age Concern: “These figures suggests something is going badly wrong.”

Predictably the DoH respond with a vague, meaningless reply, stating “excess winter deaths can be due to a number of causes and deaths can fluctuate from year to year.”

Oh yes. I hated physics at school, but I can remember this: Newton’s third law of motion says “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

I’m sure social care was never envisaged as being part of this equation by Isaac Newton, but I’m prepared to be a trailblazer here.

 

 

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Written by debbielq

February 25, 2016 at 10:19 am

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