Stop the Cuts

120,000 DEATHS LINKED TO #Conservative #LibDems AUSTERITY #Derbyuk #Derbyshire #Labour #Momentum #DCFC

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The Conservatives have been accused of “economic murder” for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

The paper found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.

On this trajectory that could rise to nearly 200,000 excess deaths by the end of 2020, even with the extra funding that has been earmarked for public sector services this year. Real terms funding for health and social care fell under the Conservative-led Coalition Government in 2010, and the researchers conclude this “may have produced” the substantial increase in deaths. The paper identified that mortality rates in the UK had declined steadily from 2001 to 2010, but this reversed sharply with the death rate growing again after austerity came in. From this reversal the authors identified that 45,368 extra deaths occurred between 2010 and 2014, than would have been expected, although it stops short of calling them “avoidable”.

Based on those trends it predicted the next five years – from 2015 to 2020 – would account for 152,141 deaths – 100 a day – findings which one of the authors likened to “economic murder”.

The Government began relaxing austerity measures this year announcing the end of its cap on public sector pay rises and announcing an extra £1.3bn for social care in the Spring Budget. Over three years the additional funding for social care is expected to reach £2bn, which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said was “patching up a small part of the damage” wrought by £4.6bn cuts. The study, published in BMJ Open today, estimated that to return death rates to their pre-2010 levels spending would need to increase by £25.3bn. The Department of Health said “firm conclusions” cannot be drawn from this work, and independent academics warned the funding figures were “speculative”.

However local councils who have been struggling to fund care with slashed budgets urged the Government to consider the research seriously. Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the Government must match Labour’s spending pledges in the Autumn Budget.

Per capita public health spending between 2001 and 2010 increased by 3.8 per cent a year, but in the first four years of the Coalition, increases were just 0.41 per cent, researchers from University College London found. In social care the annual budget increase collapsed from 2.20 per cent annually, to a decrease of 1.57 per cent. The researchers found this coincided with death rates which had decreased by around 0.77 per cent a year to 2010, beginning to increase again by 0.87 per cent a year.

And the majority of those were people reliant on social care, the paper says: “This is most likely because social care experienced greater relative spending constraints than healthcare.” It also notes that a drop in nurse numbers may have accounted for 10 per cent of deaths, concluding: “We have found that spending constraints since 2010, especially public expenditure on social care, may have produced a substantial mortality gap in England.”

The papers’ senior author and a researcher at UCL, Dr Ben Maruthappu, said that while the paper “can’t prove cause and effect” it shows an association. And he added this trend is seen elsewhere. “When you look at Portugal and other countries that have gone through austerity measures, they have found that health care provision gets worse and health care outcomes get worse,” he told The Independent. One of his co-author’s, Professor Lawrence King of the Applied Health Research Unit at Cambridge University, said it showed the damage caused by austerity

“It is now very clear that austerity does not promote growth or reduce deficits – it is bad economics, but good class politics,” he said. “This study shows it is also a public health disaster. It is not an exaggeration to call it economic murder.”

The Department of Health stressed that no such conclusion could be drawn. A spokesperson said: “As the researchers themselves note, this study cannot be used to draw any firm conclusions about the cause of excess deaths.

“The NHS is treating more people than ever before and funding is at record levels with an £8bn increase by 2020-21. We’ve also backed adult social care with £2bn investment and have 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on our wards since May 2010.”

And independent academics added that it is hard to prove cause and effect with this kind of study even if the underlying assumptions may be correct.

Professor Martin Roland Emeritus Professor of Health Services Research, University of Cambridge said: “This study suggests that a change happened to cause deaths to stop declining around 2014. This is likely to be a correct finding. However, the link to health and social care spending is speculative as observational studies of this type can never prove cause and effect.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “We would urge government to review the evidence behind this analysis. If correct, it would clearly reinforce the desperate and urgent need to properly fund social care

Mr Ashworth, responding to the study, said: “This shocking mortality gap is a damning indictment of the dire impact which sustained Tory cuts to our NHS and social care services have had on health outcomes across the nation.

“Ahead of the Budget, this appalling news must serve as an urgent wake up call to the Prime Minister. She must match Labour’s pledge to deliver an extra £6 billion for our NHS across the next financial year to ensure the best possible quality of care is sustained for years to come.”

Get involved with the People’s Assembly today. 


Disabled people ‘feel terrorised’

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February 27, 2014 2:00 pm

Disabled people ‘feel terrorised’

Disabled people feel terrorised by the Government’s welfare policies and want the truth on how their lives have been affected, MPs have heard.

John McDonnell has criticised the impact of the Government's welfare reforms.
John McDonnell has criticised the impact of the Government’s welfare reforms.
A petition started by comedian Francesca Martinez, who has cerebral palsy, attracted 104,741 signatures to trigger a Commons debate, which called for an independent assessment of the coalition’s welfare system changes.

Excess deaths of welfare claimants, Universal Credit’s IT roll out, the use of Atos to conduct work capability assessments and the Remploy factory closures are among the issues in need of investigation, according to a motion from Labour’s John McDonnell.

The MP for Hayes and Harlington said many people felt “hounded” just for being disabled.

Moving the debate, Mr McDonnell told the Commons: ” We met some of the campaigners this morning. Some of them said these expressions: ‘Do they realise that many of us feel terrorised by what the Government is doing?’

“One disabled campaigner said to me: ‘Can you tell them that they call their programme fulfilling our potential but we feel many us of simply won’t survive this round of cuts. A generation is going to be lost.’

“That’s why the central demand of this petition is very straightforward. Today’s motion is to call in essence for a cumulative impact assessment of all the welfare changes that have been introduced by this Government.

“And the argument they’ve put forward is if politicians and society only knew the full effect of these changes on the lives of disabled people and their families surely they would not let this happen in a civilised society.

To read the full article click here

Women’s Assembly Against Austerity

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Women’s Assembly Against Austerity


The People’s Assembly is pleased to announce the Women’s Assembly conference date as announced in the Guardian, to take place on Saturday 22nd February 2014 at Conway Hall, London.

Book your place at the conference here.


Here’s the letter:

Dear Editor,
We believe that women remain at the sharp end of the government’s economic and social austerity policies. As women’s unemployment rises, wages fall, the pay gap widens, benefits are cut and household and living costs rise, women face a daily struggle to keep themselves and their families from slipping deeper into poverty.

It is a travesty that 45 years after the Dagenham women workers fought for equal pay, we see increasing parts of our economy fuelled on cheap labour, with more than one in five earning less than a living wage and two-thirds of these women.

In the workplace and in the day-to-day battles against poverty, discrimination, racism, attacks on disabled people, the blight of war and the destruction of the environment, women are fighting back. Women are playing a leading role in the movement against austerity, evidenced by the huge number of women on the 50,000-strong NHS demonstration outside the Tory party conference Manchester in October.

Political leaders should be using the nation’s resources in the interests of the majority of the people and prioritise the abolition of poverty, insecurity and the threat of war. Our society is moving in a dangerous direction and now is the time for us to decide how our wealth is used and what values underpin our society.

In recognition of the leading role of women in the campaign against austerity and in articulating a new vision for our society, the signatories of this letter support the call for a Women’s Assembly Against Austerity to take place on Saturday 22nd February 2014 at Conway Hall, London. This event will build on the success of the People’s Assembly launched in June.

Yours faithfully

Diane Abbott MP
Sarah Veale, TUC Head of Equalities & Employment
Vera Baird, QC Labour Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria
Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party
Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, NUJ
Carolyn Simpson, SERTUC Women’s Rights Committee
Maxine Peake, actress and dramatist
Francesca Martinez, comedian
Dr. Finn Mackay, Founder, London Feminist Network and revived London Reclaim the Night
Anita Wright/Dona Feltham, National Assembly of Women
Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson, CND
Ann Henderson/Kerry Abel, Abortion Rights
Rachel Newton, People’s Charter
Clare Solomon, National People’s Assembly
Feyzi Ismail, East London People’s Assembly
Rafeef Ziadah, poet
Kate Smurthwaite, comedian
Anita Halpin, NUJ NEC and former chair of the TUC Women’s Committee
Anne Scargill/Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures
Rachel Yates, Coordinator and Commissioning Editor CLASS: Centre for Labour and Social Studies
Professor Mary Davis/Sharon Allen, Charter for Women
Professor Naila Kabeer, LSE
Professor Nadje Al-Ali, President, SOAS UCU
Nina Power, Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University
Anne Scott, UK Secretary Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Barbara White, Musician’s Union Executive Committee
Professor Susan Michie, UCU Executive Committee
Barbara Switzer, EC Institute of Employment Rights
Carolyn Jones, vice-chair, Morning Star
Alpa Shah, Reader, LSE
Brenna Bhandar, Senior Lecturer, SOAS
Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper
Jude Woodward, Adviser to Mayor of London 2000-08
Liz Payne, vice-chair, Communist Party of Britain
Pilgrim Tucker, Unite Communities Organiser
Julia Charlton, NEC member, Northumbria University UCU

Book your place at the conference here.


Save Legal Aid Justice for All: Walkout4Justice 6/1/14

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This time next week we ask all our

barrister & solicitor members &

friends 2 stand with us

& Walkout4Justice 6/1/14


Coming soon to an NHS Mental Health Service near you……

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Coming soon to a Mental Health Service near you.

 Liberal Democrat/Conservative Cuts Threaten

 NHS Mental Health Crisis

From Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk & Suffolk

Campaign to Save NHS Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

On the first day of Christmas, NSFT took away… my care co-ordinator

Here is the story ‘Emily’ wanted us to tell:

“Before the cuts, I had four amazing care co-ordinators over ten years. They had the chance to get to know me, both when I was struggling but also when I was well. This meant they could push me to recover, taught me how to laugh and cry and then could keep me safe when I was scared. They have held on to the hope for me in my darkest moments and I have had the time to learn to trust them – seemingly impossible tasks. At times it has seemed they know me better that I know myself and so have helped me build my life.

Now, in the world of the ‘radical redesign’, four care co-ordinators in as many months is the new reality. For others, more terrifyingly, there is no one. No one to take that call when the world is crumbling around you. No one to stop the spiral into chaos.

The perfect present would be the person who will fight your corner with you, values your life and never gives up.”

Care co-ordinators and continuity of care don’t seem to appear on NSFT’s Christmas list.

Have a look at this brilliant website

Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk & Suffolk


See  report from local paper below.

Suffolk: Mental health boss rejects crisis claims

Saturday, December 28, 2013

As a new campaign is launched against changes to mental health services in the region, the chairman of the NHS Trust which serves Suffolk and Norfolk has denied his organisation is in crisis.

However Gary Page did accept that some of the changes introduced by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust had caused unforeseen problems – and were being partially reversed.

Overall, however, it was vital that the Trust changed the way it operated to take account of reduced funding and an increased demand on its services – it is facing a budget reduction of £40 million by 2016.

Mr Page said: “Unlike NHS acute services, our budget is not linked to the number of people demanding our services.

“As a result we are seeing an increased demand for our services at the same time as our budget is being cut. That means we have to look at new ways of providing services.”

He said the Trust had been faced with two options – cut some of its services because of lack of money, or redesigning the way it operates with the aim of maintaining services.

It had chosen the latter, but during the changes fresh issues had become clear.

Mr Page said: “There was a reduction in the number of staff. Much of this was through not replacing those who left.

The number of administrative staff was reduced in particular.

“However that meant that front line clinical and support staff ended up doing more administrative tasks which is not the best use of their talents so we are taking on some more administrators to help there.”

Campaigners have warned that the changes have led to long-term clients of mental health services seeing a reduction in their services – or a change in their support workers.

From EADT24 Full article here

BBC NEWSNIGHT: Food bank charity attributes growth in usage to welfare reforms

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By Rajesh Mirchandani BBC Newsnight 11 July 2013 Last updated 

More people are turning to food banks since welfare reforms were introduced in April, a charity has said.

The Trussell Trust, which runs food banks, reported a 21% rise in the number of people who said they did not have enough money for food because of problems with benefits.

“A clear link” exists between the reforms and the increasing popularity of food banks, the Trust’s boss said.

Conservative minister Lord Freud has said the two factors are unrelated.

The government says changes to benefits are necessary because of the rising cost of the welfare system and the need to cut the budget deficit.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) added: “Welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities.”

Full article here BBC News – Food bank charity attributes growth in usage to welfare reforms