PM refuses to scrap work capability assessments despite link to suicides

From Welfare Weekly: Theresa May has refused to scrap her government’s controversial Work Capability Assessments, despite reports almost one in two women taking part in the assessments say they have attempted suicide before or after the process.

Ian Blackford, Commons leader of the SNP, congratulated the Prime Minister on her appointment of a Minister for Suicide Prevention, but said if the Prime Minister was serious about the issue, she would eradicate polices that lead people to believe suicide is their only option.

A series of secret internal inquiries into the deaths of people claiming social security revealed that UK government ministers were repeatedly warned of shortcomings of their social security policies.

Nearly one in every two women (47%) claiming incapacity benefits and undergoing the WCA have attempted suicide.

[Read full article on Welfare Weekly…]

Grenfell fire survivor says tenants were bullied over renovation

From The Guardian: One of the last people to escape Grenfell Tower has claimed residents were bullied by the Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) during the refurbishment of the block which left gaps around windows that allowed his flat to fill with smoke.

Antonio Roncolato, who lived in flat 72 on the 10th floor for 27 years, was the first resident to give evidence to the public inquiry into the disaster, which claimed 72 lives. He described being trapped in the tower for more than six hours and said there was gaseous smoke, like “you’re going into a gas chamber”.

Roncolato, a hotel worker, told the inquiry that before the fire residents were unhappy about plans to relocate gas boilers in the building’s corridors and that some were bullied into accepting what they feared was a safety risk. He also said that as part of the same refurbishment the landlord removed a 24-hour concierge service in the tower because it would cost too much to continue.

He described how residents had meetings with the Tory-run council landlord but “the TMO was very resistant to coming to these and when they did, the meetings were often tense and residents would walk out”.

The TMO finally agreed to put some boilers in the flats, but “for those residents who did not speak up, they were bullied into having the new boiler installed in the hallway by the front door”.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

‘Shocking’ rise in coroner warnings over NHS patient deaths, says Labour

From The Guardian: The number of legal warnings issued by coroners over patient deaths in England attributed to NHS resourcing issues has risen by 40% in three years.

There were 42 prevention of future death reports (PFDs) relating to issues such as lack of beds, staff shortages and insufficiently trained agency staff in 2016 compared with 30 in 2013.

Coroners have a statutory duty to make reports to a person, organisation, local authority or government department or agency where the coroner believes that action should be taken to prevent future deaths.

Labour, which compiled the figures, blamed the increase on the government’s austerity policies.

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NHS privatisation is ‘killing people’: Unite slams Tory NHS treatment ahead of march

From Unite Live: Hundreds of thousands of NHS campaigners will converge in London on Saturday 3rd February to demand the Tories fix the embattled health service.

In response to the unprecedented and growing crisis afflicting the NHS, the People’s Assembly has called a mass protest against the government’s deliberate dismantling of the health service.

Unions, actors, musicians and politicians have thrown their support behind the protest as the indictments against the government’s shocking treatment of the NHS and the subsequent effects on patients and staff grow ever longer.

Two weeks ago it was revealed 20 people died over the Christmas period while waiting for ambulances from the critically “over stretched” East of England Ambulance Service Trust.

The revelation came after 68 senior doctors from England and Wales wrote to Theresa May to warn her that patients are “dying prematurely” because they are being treated in hospital corridors.

[Read full article on Unite Live…]

“The NHS is in crisis and it’s a matter of life and death”

Labour MP Laura Pidcock writes on HuffPost UK: Already this winter, 75,000 people patients have been stuck in the back of ambulances, waiting to be seen in Accident and Emergency Departments. During Christmas week, one in six ambulance patients waited 30 minutes or more before being admitted to hospital. County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust had to turn away patients on four separate occasions during that week.

Hospitals across the UK are on ‘black alert’ (operational pressures escalation level 4 – meaning a state in which trusts are unable to deliver comprehensive care).

[Read full column on HuffPost UK…]

Essex woman dies after waiting nearly four hours for ambulance

From The Guardian: An 81-year-old woman was found dead in her house after waiting almost four hours for an ambulance.

The pensioner, who lived in Clacton, Essex, called 999 on Tuesday complaining of chest pains, according to the GMB union. East of England (EEAST) ambulance service said a crew arrived three hours and 45 minutes after the initial call.

Ambulance services, like hospitals, have struggled to cope in the midst of the NHS’s winter crisis. Last week, EEAST raised its operational level to the highest possible, an indication that its ability to respond to potentially life-threatening incidents had been affected. In some cases, it used taxis to transport patients to hospital.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Former senior Met Police officer blames Theresa May for rising violent crime

Footage from Sky News: Former Met Police senior investigating officer Peter Kirkham tells it like it is about rising crime on Sky News…

The Tories Hate This Interview

This interview will never be shown on TV again

Posted by BBC London Calling "Unofficial" on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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“Economic murder”: Tory NHS and social care cuts linked to 120,000 needless deaths, conclude top researchers

From Daily Mirror: Tory NHS and social care cuts are “economic murder” and already 120,000 Brits have died needlessly since 2010, claim researchers at three top universities.

[Read full article on Daily Mirror website…]

Zoe Williams: It’s true – Conservative governments really do kill people

Zoe Williams writes in the Guardian: “There was a splenetic exchange on BBC Question Time last week, between an audience member and my colleague, Aditya Chakrabortty, who had pointed out that disabled people had died as a result of cuts to social security. You’re like ‘Donald Trump’, said a guy in the audience: the parallel was, Aditya had made a statement that was stirring, powerful, emotive and trenchant – so I guess, if we leave aside the fact that it was also true, it was pretty Trumpian.

“Just as it’s verboten to call someone a liar in parliament, so there is a curious and ancient disapproval around pointing out that a state has been the direct cause of any deaths, whether of its own citizens or abroad. It is taken as hysterical overstatement (something that should only be levelled at an authoritarian regime, which takes its people out and shoots them) and pitiful naivety (a wilful misunderstanding of the business of government, to trace its policies crudely back to the lives of those who are affected by them). Read more

Mentally distressed man declared ‘fit for work’ by DWP found dead on beach days later

From Evolve Politics: A man declared ‘fit for work’ by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), despite suffering with extreme anxiety, stress and panic attacks for nine years, has been found dead on a beach after his sickness benefits were removed.

Following the removal of his benefits, 54-year-old David Metcalf was visited by police and a mental health practitioner after concerns for his wellbeing were raised. Just four days later he was found dead on a Durham beach. Read more

You are a thousand times more likely to be killed by Tory Government cuts than by terrorists

There were 30,000 excess deaths in 2015, representing the largest increase in deaths in the post-war period, which included a large spike in January that year. Researchers exploring why concluded that failures in the health and social care system linked to disinvestment are likely to be the main cause.

#VotingToryKills #ToryAusterity: There were 30,000 excess deaths in 2015, representing the largest increase in deaths in…

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Monday, October 9, 2017

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Sick patients dying ‘unnecessarily’ in NHS because of poor care

From The Observer: Some of the sickest patients that hospitals treat are dying unnecessarily because they receive poor care, blighted by shortages of staff and equipment, a new NHS inquiry has revealed.

A death rate of one in three among inpatients with serious breathing problems is already high by international standards, and is getting worse.

The analysis by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death of NHS services for those who receive non-invasive ventilation (NIV) treatment uncovered a series of major flaws in the care they received. It described its findings as “shocking”.

The growing numbers of patients who receive the treatment usually have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia or other conditions which mean they cannot breathe unaided. Despite their lives being at risk, the report judged that care was “less than good” in 80% of the 353 patients surveyed.

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George Monbiot: “What happened in Grenfell Tower was murder, mass murder”

George Monbiot tells Double Down News: “What happened in Grenfell Tower was murder, mass murder.

“It’s ‘let’s strip away’ all the public protections which prevent lots of people from being incinerated.

“There’s a whole infrastructure of fake think tanks, of these neoliberal lobby groups, funded by dark money, journalists, columnists in the corporate press, government ministers and advisers, whose whole role in life is to try to destroy public protections. because those public protections limit corporate profits. Read more

Fiona Robertson: Voting Tory in #GE17 is a vote to kill people like me

Disability activist and writer Fiona Robertson writes on Commonspace: “When I and my fellow disability activists woke up on the morning after the last General Election, we spent an unrelenting few days tag teaming as we tried to keep people in our community alive. We were not always successful. Over and over, hour after hour, we saw iterations of the same message: ‘I do not think I will survive this government.’

“There were 30,000 extra deaths in England and Wales in 2015 as a result of cuts to health and social care, according to research by Oxford University. There were hundreds of suicides by the very lowest estimates, though we who spend our days working with people who are struggling to survive this government know there are more which aren’t counted; that there are many, many deaths because the stress and fear and pain and malnutrition and isolation exacerbated a person’s condition to the point of lethality. Read more

If you vote Conservative on 8th June, you are voting for more people to die preventably in house fires

#ToryCutsKill #FireServiceCutsKill: The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show…

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 294 people died in fires in England during 2015, an increase of 21% compared with the 242 deaths recorded in 2014 and the largest increase since figures were published in 2001-02.

Nearly 10,000 firefighter jobs have been cut in the last six years.

The Conservative minister for policing and the fire service, Brandon Lewis, says there’s room for even more reductions beyond the 30% cuts. The fire service faces cumulative budget cuts of up to 50% by 2020, from 2010 levels.

“The budget cuts have seen the loss of frontline firefighters, response times getting longer, stations closing and fire prevention measures reduced too,” said a statement from the chief fire officers from the six largest English cities outside London.

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Disabled man worried by benefit cuts killed himself by setting himself on fire

From Daily Mirror: A disabled man committed suicide in front of horrified shoppers in a town centre by setting himself on fire, after fearing that he faced a cut in his benefits, an inquest heard.

[Read full article on Daily Mirror website…]

Firefighters blame cuts for 15% increase in fire-related deaths

From Sky News: Government cuts are to blame for a rise in fire-related deaths in England last year, according to the union representing firefighters.

Official figures show that 303 people died in fires during 2015/16, up 15% on the previous year.

Response times to all types of serious fires also rose, in some cases by as much as one minute and eight seconds.

The Fire Brigades Union said the figures reflect the real impact that cuts have had on the ability of firefighters to do their job in recent years.

Matt Wrack, the union’s general secretary, said: “I think fire crews are increasingly angry about how they are being treated by this Government.

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