New analysis links 30,000 excess deaths in 2015 to cuts in health and social care

From the Royal Society of Medicine

Researchers exploring why there has been a substantial increase in mortality in England and Wales in 2015 conclude that failures in the health and social care system linked to disinvestment are likely to be the main cause.

There were 30,000 excess deaths in 2015, representing the largest increase in deaths in the post-war period. The excess deaths, which included a large spike in January that year, were largely in the older population who are most dependent on health and social care.

Reporting their analysis in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, tested four possible explanations for the January 2015 spike in mortality.

After ruling out data errors, cold weather and flu as main causes for the spike, the researchers found that NHS performance data revealed clear evidence of health system failures. Almost all targets were missed including ambulance call-out times and A&E waiting times, despite unexceptional A&E attendances compared to the same month in previous years. Staff absence rates rose and more posts remained empty as staff had not been appointed.

Professor Martin McKee, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “The impact of cuts resulting from the imposition of austerity on the NHS has been profound. Expenditure has failed to keep pace with demand and the situation has been exacerbated by dramatic reductions in the welfare budget of £16.7 billion and in social care spending.”

He added: “With an aging population, the NHS is ever more dependent on a well-functioning social care system. Yet social care has also faced severe cuts, with a 17% decrease in spending for older people since 2009, while the number of people aged 85 years and over has increased by 9%.”

“To maintain current levels of social care would require an extra £1.1 billion, which the government has refused.”

Professor McKee continued: “The possibility that the cuts to health and social care are implicated in almost 30,000 excess deaths is one that needs further exploration. Given the relentless nature of the cuts, and potential link to rising mortality, we ask why is the search for a cause not being pursued with more urgency?”

“Simply reorganising and consolidating existing urgent care systems or raising the ‘agility’ of the current A&E workforce capacity is unlikely to be sufficient to meet the challenges that high levels of admissions of frail elderly people and others who are vulnerable are likely to present this winter and in future winters.”

The researchers say that there are already worrying signs of an increase in mortality in 2016. Without urgent intervention, they say, there must be concern that this trend will continue.

Commenting on the analysis, Professor Danny Dorling, University of Oxford, added: “It may sound obvious that more elderly people will have died earlier as a result of government cut backs, but to date the number of deaths has not been estimated and the government have not admitted responsibility.”

read more here: https://www.rsm.ac.uk/about-us/media-information/2017-media-releases/new-analysis-links-30000-excess-deaths-in-2015-to-cuts-in-health-and-social-care.aspx

Pensioner who was jailed by a secret court can finally tell the story of how she tried to protect her brother because, shortly after these photographs were taken, he died

Pensioner who was jailed by a secret court can finally tell the story of how she tried to protect her brother because, shortly after these photographs were taken, he died Teresa Kirk defied order to bring brother Manuel back from Portugal care home Court of Protection jailed her for protecting Manuel, who had vascular dementia […]

via Touching picture of sibling devotion that was BANNED until now : Daily Mail. — DWPExamination.

Hard Brexit’ could see disabled people lose right to independent living, say peers

The process of exiting the European Union (EU) could worsen the social care crisis if the UK government does not protect access to personal assistants (PAs) from EU countries, disabled peers have warned.

They told a work and pensions minister that uncertainty over the “Brexit” negotiations with fellow EU members was leading to “terrible uncertainty” among the thousands of disabled people whose PAs are citizens of other EU countries.

read more here: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/02/11/hard-brexit-could-see-disabled-people-lose-right-to-independent-living-say-peers/

Cuts to support killed my neighbours,’ MPs are told

DNS

By John Pring Disability News Service 26th January 2017

A disabled campaigner has told MPs that he believes cuts to support have contributed to a quarter of his neighbours in the sheltered housing development where he lives dying in just one year.

Larry Gardiner told the communities and local government select committee this week, as part of its inquiry into adult social care, that five of his neighbours had died in the last year.

He said that to lose so many neighbours in such a short period of time was “absolutely unprecedented”.

He said: “Some of those deaths were expected and anticipated… but there were others which I think were premature, unexpected and for which there should be an investigation, and there hasn’t been.”

read more here: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2017/01/26/cuts-to-support-killed-my-neighbours-mps-are-told/

Sick and disabled forced ‘to pay for OWN care assessments’ by shameless Tory council

Furious Labour MPs and campaign groups hit out at plans by Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council to force people need of social services to pay £50 for a needs assessment before they can access care

A shameless Tory council is poised to become the first in Britain to start charging the sick and disabled for their own care assessments.

Furious Labour MPs and campaign groups hit out at plans by Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council to force people need of social services to pay £50 for a needs assessment before they can access care.

The plan appears to flaunt clear Whitehall instructions that town halls should provide care assessments for free.

“Charging for this is wrong,” said Andrew Boaden of the Alzheimer’s Society.

“The burden of paying for care already leaves many people choosing between a hot meal or buying in help to shower and get dressed.

“Charging for an assessment is another barrier that will make this already dire situation worse.”

Local people have already launched a campaign to stop the cruel £50 charge, which will apply to anyone who owns a home worth more than £23,250.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sick-disabled-forced-to-pay-9685866

Shock figures show Tory plans are ‘making social care worse’ : Guardian. — DWPExamination.

Flagship scheme to keep elderly out of hospital missing targets and council tax rise ‘too small to alleviate cutbacks’ Tory MP Sarah Wollaston says ministers should act immediately to stop elderly people suffering. Photograph: Veryan Dale/Alamy The full extent of the crisis facing social care is revealed by an Observer investigation which demonstrates the […]

via Shock figures show Tory plans are ‘making social care worse’ : Guardian. — DWPExamination.

Growing scandal of care homes that PUNISH families who dare to complain is exposed after a husband is banned from seeing his wife for three weeks and an elderly mum is evicted : Daily Mail. — DWPExamination.

George Roussell had never spent a night apart from wife Brenda But he agreed she, suffering from MS, would be better off in a nursing home He says he was effectively banned from her bedside because he complained The care home industry is worth around £14.3 billion George Roussell was understandably distraught the day his […]

via Growing scandal of care homes that PUNISH families who dare to complain is exposed after a husband is banned from seeing his wife for three weeks and an elderly mum is evicted : Daily Mail. — DWPExamination.