30,000 excess deaths in 2015 alone, have been directly linked to the Conservative slash and burn approach to healthcare policy, a study produced by Oxford University claims. Published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the study examined the possible reasons for a significant decline in all NHS performance targets (except cancer). The research team took their time to analyse the data, ruling out; artefact data, environmental changes, and influenza as the cause for an apparent 30,000 excess deaths in 2015.
The researchers were left with only government policy, and healthcare funding as the possible explanation for the huge spike in deaths. Their findings are not easy reading for those concerned about our health service, but confirm what we’ve known all along.
‘Since the 2010 election 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 reduction in the welfare budget of £16.7bn and further reductions in social care spending.’
Severe social care cuts of 17% since 2009 have been made disproportionately worse, when you consider the elderly population has grown 9% since. Strong and stable social care services, integrated into the community, are required to not just maintain a high quality of life for the elderly, but to also prevent hospitals becoming overrun with patients that should be treated at home. Hospital beds have become a hot topic under this government, their numbers have halved, but demand for hospital beds has increased exceptionally, in-part due to the disintegration of the community social care systems around the country.
Fast forward to this year, we now know that NHS targets are routinely missed; A&E waiting times have not been met once since 2015, a record number of people are waiting longer than 18-weeks to start treatment after GP referral, and staffing levels are at critical level with over 80,000 posts unfilled. It was only last week just TWO junior doctors were left to care for 436 people, the clearest indication that this Conservative government are failing us on health.