Excess winter deaths rise to 34,300

Winter deaths up by 40 per cent

Last winter, there were an estimated 34,300 excess winter deaths (EWDs) in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of EWDs between December 2016 and March 2017 rose by 40%, compared to the winter before.

It was the second highest level of EWDs in eight years.

Females and elderly people were most affected by EWDs last winter period.

Elderly lady with carer

Over one-third of all EWDs were caused by respiratory diseases.

Cold homes are a significant cause of illness over the winter period and one-in-ten homes are currently classified as living in fuel poverty.

A household is considered to be in fuel poverty if they are required to spend more than 10% of their income on fuel to maintain an adequate standard of warmth.

Many energy bills have gone up by around 10% this year.

Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said: “It’s a tragic reminder that even in modern Britain people die because they simply don’t have the money to allow them to stay warm.

“Much more needs to be done to prevent people from dying because they can’t afford to hear their homes properly.

“That means making sure that people are receiving the help that they are entitled to and eligible for, such as Winter Fuel Payments and charitable grants that can help people with fuel bills and energy efficiency.”

Source: Turn2us

Elderly – “Illlegally Restrained in Care Homes”

Thousands of elderly and vulnerable patients are being illegally restrained by staff in hospitals and care homes, according to the care watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) warns that carers and nursing staff are ignoring laws which state they must apply for approval before  depriving patients of their liberty.

A Care logoBut there is a “worrying” backlog of nearly 20,000 cases awaiting approval for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard, and staff may well be restraining patients anyway as they wait for paperwork, the watchdog said.

Care home staff go to councils and hospital staff to the NHS with the applications, nearly half of which are turned down.

There were nearly 53,000 applications in the first six months of 2014/15, a seven-fold increase compared to submissions for the entire year of 2013/14. The huge rise followed two court rulings which stated individuals could also be deprived of their liberty in foster care and sheltered housing, as well as hospitals and care homes.

“The vast majority of people working in hospitals and care homes are decent and dedicated to their profession. It’s such a shame they are “propping up”, to the best of their ability, a system overcomplicated, oversubscribed, overwhelmed and long overdue a new direction.”