Monday, March 19, 2018

Tories kill

For the past seven years, the Tories have been turning the screw on the NHS and demanding that it do more with less. Now it turns out that those cuts have consequences:
Health cuts have consequences.

In the first seven weeks of 2018, over 10,000 (12.4 per cent) more people died in England and Wales than was usual for the time of year. No official explanation from government health officials for this sharp rise in mortality has been forthcoming.

It became crystal clear in early 2018 that the health and social care system was not coping with the demands being placed upon it. On 2 January, in an unprecedented step by the NHS, thousands of non-urgent operations were cancelled. Many hospitals were already at, or beyond, their safe working levels, even though the weather was warmer than normal so any surge in demand was not due to unusually cold conditions. Another suggestion has been that the main reason for there being so much demand was a rise in influenza.

Our analysis of the first available data finds that flu only accounted for a very small part of the overall rise in mortality in early 2018. The past five years have been extremely challenging in terms of health outcomes and what is happening in 2018 is likely to be a continuation of many of these challenges. For instance, year-on-year spending on health and social care has increased at a much slower rate than in previous years.

Improvements in life expectancy have slowed down significantly, while infant mortality has risen. There's a 30 year difference in life expectancy between the UK's poorest and most affluent areas. And this all began with the latest round of austerity. In other words, those 10,000 dead - this year - can be directly attributed to cuts. And the politicians who advocated for them, oversaw them, and voted them through should all be charged with murder.