Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
10,000 Extra People Have Died So Far In 2018: James Asks An NHS Consultant Why
19 March 2018, 13:31
10,000 more people have died so far in 2018 than was predicted - and doctors are baffled as to why it's happened.
In the first seven weeks of 2018, over 10,000 more people died in England and Wales than was usual for the time of year.
A number of people have blamed a flu epidemic or an ageing population for the increasing deaths. But speaking to James O'Brien, NHS Consultant Psychiatrist Lauren Gavaghan revealed the stats show neither of them are true.
She said: "This is really shocking. Historically, the government have blamed an ageing population and blamed a flu epidemic. Of course there was more flu this year, but when you look at the figures, the rates of flu within that sample is more or less the same as they were last year, so that's not to blame here.
"So why are people dying?
"We know in January, hospitals were running at 100+% capacity. The safe limit is at 85%."
James asked which elements of austerity could have led to such a rise. Lauren responded: "We know the NHS is in its biggest funding squeeze ever - even though the government say they are funding it more.
"What we're seeing is the really raw effects of government underfunding for years, a completely understaffed NHS now being pinned on individual doctors. And I think that's going to happen more and more."
Lauren said she felt Jeremy Hunt's plan is to increase the amount of privatisation in the NHS and that is also a cause, adding: "We're now seeing the CEO of the NHS inviting Donald Trump to come and have a look at services within the NHS. Theresa May doesn't rule out the NHS in the UK-US trade deals.
"This is a disaster for our NHS.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the aim here is profit and people don't matter. That's sadly what is happening."