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Austerity is shortening lives

Life expectancy has been one of those measures used often to indicate human progress.  On this measure, the UK doesn't do so well compared to other European countries.   
Life expectancy at birth in the UK  increased by 13.1 weeks per year on average since 1980–1982 for males and 9.5 weeks per year on average for females.

The reduction in the proportion of men smoking, along with the decline of heavy industry and the move away from physical labour and manufacturing industries towards the service sector are likely factors contributing to the changes, while female life-styles and childbirth have changed substantially.

The most common age at death in the UK for men is 85 and for women, it is 89. Progress indeed.

The health and wellbeing of our population are falling, and with it so too is life-expectancy.

Austerity is shortening our lives, or at least for some of us.   And there is the point.

Austerity has increased inequality and poverty, driven by the Tory cuts and approach to wel…

Coalition government has damaged the NHS

The Tory party when in government always messes up the NHS. That is a given. We recall the crisis at the end of the last Tory government in 1997 with  long waiting lists and waiting times and with patients waiting on trollies in A&E because of a shortage of beds. Now we have the same long waiting lists, waiting times and patients waiting on trollies in corridors because of a shortage of beds. It is like Groundhog Day, a recurring nightmare. Tory governments should come with a health warning.

Now a damning report says that historians 'will not be kind in their assessment of the coalition government’s record on NHS reform'.

A major assessment of the coalition government's record on NHS reform by The King's Fund concludes that the upheaval caused by the Health and Social Care Act has been damaging and distracting.

We recall the promise that the NHS was 'safe' in Tory hands and that there would be 'no top down reorganisation'. The history seeks for itself. Not only has there been reorganisation, it has at best been fragmented and disjointed.

The new report highlights some positive developments as a result of the Act including closer involvement of GPs in commissioning services, giving local authorities responsibility for public health and the establishment of health and wellbeing boards. However, it criticises the decision to implement complex organisational changes at a time when the NHS should have been focused on tackling growing pressures on services and an unprecedented funding squeeze.

The changes have left the NHS organisation fragmented and without clear leadership.  Dispersing budgets formerly held by Primary Care Trusts between Commissioning Groups, NHS England and local authorities has created a situation where there  are no longer single population-based budgets for health care. At a time when it is more crucial to develop coordinated health and social care this has been counterproductive.

The coalition has left the NHS poorly funded, fragmented and unfit to meet the demands of coordinated health and social care.

 

Read Ray'a Novel: It wasn't always late summer 

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