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Yes, you read that correctly. One hundred and twenty thousand people since 2010.
The study, conducted by medical researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, and UCL, estimated that if current trends continue, 200,000 excess deaths would occur by 2020 if the sweeping Tory cuts were not reversed immediately and extra investment pumped in.
The study says the ‘critical factor’ in the excess deaths was a huge lack of both NHS and Care Home nurses, and says that if the government does not take urgent action now, 100 people will die unnecessarily every single day as a direct consequence of their inaction.
The BMJ said that:
Changes in the numbers of hospital and community nurses were the most salient factors in the associations found between spend and care home deaths.
From 2001 to 2010 nurse numbers rose by an average of 1.61% every year, but from 2010 to 2014 rose by just 0.07%–20 times lower than in the previous decade.
The researchers also found that deaths in England fell year on year during 2001 and 2010 by 0.77%, but rose every year by an average of 0.87% from 2011 to 2014 under the Tories.
The BMJ report says that over-60s and care home residents were most at risk of dying unnecessarily, stating that the:
real term spend on social care has fallen by 1.19 per cent every year during (2010 and 2014), despite a significant projected increase in the numbers of over 85s–those most likely to need social care–from 1.6 million in 2015 to 1.8 million in 2020
The researchers estimate that the government needs to spend an extra £25.3Bn over the next five years to fix the huge problems that Tory austerity has created.
Lawrence King, a Professor at the University of Cambridge who contributed to the study, said that Tory austerity does not work, and was scathing about its links to horrific numbers of needless deaths, saying that:
Austerity does not promote growth or reduce deficits – it is bad economics. It is also a public health disaster. It is not an exaggeration to call it economic murder.
Whilst Labour’s John Ashworth said that:
This shocking mortality gap is a damning indictment of the dire impact which sustained Tory cuts to our NHS and social care services have had on health outcomes across the nation.
Ahead of the Budget, this appalling news must serve as an urgent wake up call to the Prime Minister. She must match Labour’s pledge to deliver an extra £6 billion for our NHS across the next financial year to ensure the best possible quality of care is sustained for years to come.
However, in a desperate attempt to play down the horrific findings of the study, a government spokesman said:
This study cannot be used to draw any firm conclusions about the cause of excess deaths.
We’ll let our readers draw their own conclusions.
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