Malnutrition has tripled since 2008 but the Tories say the cause can’t be identified. It’ll be ESA

Isn’t it interesting that the official figures show malnutrition increasing hugely, year-on-year, from 2008 onwards – the year when Employment and Support Allowance was introduced – but the Conservative Government is insisting that no cause can be identified?

ESA, with the hated, nonsensical Work Capability Assessment that governs whether a claimant qualifies for the benefit, was introduced in 2008.

This Blog ran an article on the increase in malnutrition in November, but reader Tony Dean went further – requesting information from the Department of Health.

In the financial year 2007-8, there were 7,695 primary diagnoses of malnutrition – up from 6,704 the previous year. Secondary diagnoses had fallen from 58,344 the previous year to 57,052.

From then on, the figures started to increase – hugely. In 2015-16 there were 17,166 primary diagnoses of malnutrition and a massive 167,362 secondary diagnoses.

Primary diagnoses describe the most serious or resource-intensive condition suffered by a patient who is hospitalised for any period of time. A secondary diagnosis describes those conditions that coexist at the time of admission, or develop subsequently, and that affect the patient for the current episode of care.

So we are seeing not only an increase in malnutrition as an illness in its own right, but a massive increase in it as a contributory factor to other illnesses.

The information may be found here. It was provided by Health Under-Secretary Nicola Blackwood in response to a question by Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth in November.

Ms Blackwood said: “The cause of the malnutrition is not presented in these figures and it not possible to make assumptions on which factor was responsible for the admission.

read more here: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/12/21/malnutrition-has-tripled-since-2008-but-the-tories-say-the-cause-cant-be-identified-itll-be-esa/

Malnutrition causing thousands of hospital admissions

More than 2,000 cases of patients with malnutrition were recorded by 43 hospital trusts in a single year.

There were 193 “episodes” of malnutrition in 12 months at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust alone, according to new figures. Freedom of Information (FOI) figures show a rise of 259 between the 43 trusts compared with three years ago.

A food bank charity said it feared families were struggling to afford to feed themselves.

The government said that malnutrition was “unacceptable”. Meanwhile, there are warnings that parents are going without food so their children do not go hungry.

The figures were revealed as Tameside Hospital, also in Greater Manchester, became the first NHS hospital in the UK to set up a permanent food bank on site.

‘Thousands’ at risk

Medical staff reported a significant increase in the number of malnourished patients turning up for treatment and care.

Trisha Jarman from Tameside East food bank said: “There are a lot of people out there that are malnourished. It’s not just people coming into hospital, it’s across the board. People are struggling to feed themselves and their families, particularly at this time of the year.”

Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-34777348

Million elderly Brits malnourished as third of councils cut ‘meals on wheels’ service

A third of all UK councils have scrapped ‘meals on wheels’ services to their elderly and vulnerable residents due government to spending cuts, putting senior citizens at risk of malnutrition and social isolation, research showed.

Over half expect further service reductions in the year ahead. A study by the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition claims more than one million older people in the UK are malnourished.

The total number of meals provided by UK meals on wheels services and lunch clubs has dropped from 40 million to 19 million meals over the past ten years.

Half of all local authorities in the UK expect even further service reductions in the year ahead because social care budgets are being tightened and funding is being slashed, according to the National Association of Care Catering.

The Association says tens of thousands of elderly people living alone rely on the delivery of regular meals for nutrition, social interaction and safety checks.

The NACC National Chair, Neel Radia, said: “The Community Meals Service is a crucial preventative service that enables older people to live in their own homes for longer, whilst maintaining their physical and emotional wellbeing and reducing pressure on the NHS.”

“The abolition of community meals services is incredibly short-sighted and cuts a lifeline for many older people who can face social isolation and loneliness,” Radia added.

read more here: https://www.rt.com/uk/204455-councils-cut-meals-wheels/

Malnutrition and ‘Victorian’ diseases soar today in England ‘due to food poverty and cuts’

Cases of malnutrition and other “Victorian” diseases are soaring in England, in what campaigners said was a result of cuts to social services and rising food poverty.

NHS statistics show that 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of more than 50 per cent in just four years.

Cases of other diseases rife in the Victorian era including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have also increased since 2010, although cases of TB, measles, typhoid and rickets have fallen.

Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust, which runs a nationwide network of foodbanks, said they saw “tens of thousands of people who have been going hungry, missing meals and cutting back on the quality of the food they buy”.

“We meet families from across the UK struggling to put enough food on the table and, at the extreme end, you get people who are malnourished,” he said. “We often see parents who are going without food so that they can feed their children, and these parents often struggle to afford enough nutritious food for their children, too. We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry in the UK, which is why we’re working to engage the public, other charities and politicians across parties to find solutions to the underlying causes of food poverty.”

Dianne Jeffrey, who chairs the Malnutrition Task Force, an independent expert group, and charity Age UK, said the rise in hospital admissions for malnutrition was “deeply distressing”.

“Older people and professionals often incorrectly assume that losing weight and having a reduced appetite are just a normal part of ageing,” she said. “Much malnutrition is preventable, so it is totally unacceptable that estimates suggest there are at least one million older people malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. Cuts to social care mean many older people are being left to cope on their own.”

The figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that in worst-affected areas – Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – 2.4 people out of every 100,000 were admitted to hospital with a primary diagnosis of malnutrition.

read more here: http://streetskitchen.co.uk/?p=3504

Breadline Britain: Scandal of hungry children relying on charity to fight off malnutrition

A Kids Company director says the rate of ­malnutrition is reaching worrying levels after dealing with 11-year-olds who look like seven-year-olds and toddlers with rickets

There are few more cheering sights than hungry children tucking in to a good meal.  But take away the bright colours and modern trappings and this could be a scene from a Third World refugee camp or Victorian poor house. The youngsters are eating meals ­supplied by a charity because their families don’t earn enough to keep them well fed and healthy.

It is nothing more than a scandalous scene.

In today’s breadline Britain, ­unemployment and benefit cuts leave a growing number of kids hungry.

One of the children eating roast chicken, potatoes and veg is six-year-old Peter. He had arrived at school that ­morning in dirty clothes, crying because he was so hungry. He stopped when his teacher gave him a banana. She buys a bunch every day because so many children in her class are ­suffering hunger pains. At lunch, Peter begged to finish other kids’ leftovers. Last year, his mum was caught shoplifting food three times as she did not have enough to feed herself, Peter, his two-year-old brother and his elderly gran. Sadly, his story is not unusual.

Eight-year-old Jayne confessed she is often forced to steal food by her mother so they have enough to eat. She revealed she was beaten sometimes if she returned empty handed. Her jobless mum owes a loan shark £600 which she can’t ­repay and the interest is ­spiralling out of control. Jayne confided in her Kids Company mentor that her life was not worth living and she wished she was dead.

Huddled around a table next to her was ten-year-old Sarah, who was frantically stuffing a savoury pancake, topped with tomato and cheese, into her mouth. For her, food is a luxury. She is ­hungry most of the day and comes to Kids Company so that she can get a hot meal. On Wednesdays and weekends when the charity is shut, she often has ­nothing to eat at all.

Tuesday is her favourite day as her single mum gets “some money in the bank”. Sarah said: “I think she gets about £70 and I always beg her to buy food but she often doesn’t. I think she needs it to pay bills instead.

Malnutrition has left toddlers with the bone condition rickets, children of 11 the size of seven-year-olds and ­teenagers looking like skeletons. The Sunday People joined ­children’s charity Kids Company for the evening meal service at its centre in Lambeth, South London. Each day, the charity deals with dozens of cases of hungry children and reckons for more than three-quarters it is their only meal.

 

read the rest of this article from the Mirror Online here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breadline-britain-scandal-hungry-children-5336076

 

Rickets returns as poor families find healthy diets unaffordable

The UK Faculty of Public Health will call for national food policy including sugar tax as concerns rise over vitamin deficiencies

Poverty is forcing people to have dangerously poor diets and is leading to the return of rickets and gout – diseases of the Victorian age that affect bones and joints – according the UK Faculty of Public Health.

The public health professionals’ body will call for a national food policy, including a sugar tax, as concerns rise over malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies in British children. It will also appeal for all political parties to back a living wage to help combat the illnesses.

Doctors and hospitals are seeing a rise in children suffering from ailments caused by poor diet and the faculty has linked the trend to people’s inability to afford quality food. Latest figures show there has been a 19% increase in people hospitalised in England and Wales for malnutrition over the past 12 months but experts say this is only the extreme end.

Dr John Middleton, from the FPH, said the calls would come in the faculty’s manifesto to be published next month and warned that ill-health arising from poor diets was worsening throughout Britain “through extreme poverty and the use of food banks“.

He saidthat obesity remained the biggest problem of food poverty as families are forced into choosing cheap, processed high fat foods just to survive. “It’s getting worse because people can’t afford good quality food,” he said. “Malnutrition, rickets and other manifestations of extreme poor diet are becoming apparent. GPs are reporting rickets anecdotally in Manchester, the East End of London, Birmingham and the West Midlands. It is a condition we believed should have died out.

Read the rest of this article from the Guardian here:  http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/30/child-poverty-link-malnutrition-rickets

Welfare reforms, food banks, malnutrition and the return of Victorian diseases are not coincidental, Mr Cameron

Politics and Insights

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The coalition will leave more debt than all Labour governments since 1900. The current government is now responsible for £517 billion of the trillion-plus-pound UK public debt, compared to £472 billion accrued during the 33 years Labour led the country since the turn of the twentieth century.

And the figures look even worse when you adjust for inflation. When you do that, the Coalition’s share jumps to nearly half of the total debt.

But the Coalition don’t meet any public’s needs, they simply serve the wants of  a powerful, wealthy elite. Labour invested in public services, the Tories have bled them dry. So, what have they done with the money? Because the public have seen only austerity cuts. And the most vulnerable bear the brunt of the cuts.

Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, Ben Phillips, said: “Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with a wealthy elite who…

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