Jeremy Hunt accuses Stephen Hawking of ‘pernicious falsehood’ in NHS row

19/08/2017 Nicola Slawson 0

Health secretary reacts to physicist’s claim that the Conservatives are trying to implement US-style health insurance system

Jeremy Hunt has accused Stephen Hawking of a “pernicious” lie after the physicist said it seemed the Tories were steering the UK towards a US-style health insurance system.

Hours after the health secretary was criticised for claiming Hawking was wrong in the row about the government’s seven-day NHS plan, he leapt back into the fray with two tweets defending the Conservative party’s record on the health service.

Most pernicious falsehood from Stephen Hawking is idea govt wants US-style insurance system.Is it 2 much to ask him to look at evidence? 1/2

NHS under Cons has seen more money,more docs and more nurses than ever in history.Those with private med insurance DOWN 9.4% since 2009! 2/2

Stephen Hawking is brilliant physicist but wrong on lack of evidence 4 weekend effect.2015 Fremantle study most comprehensive ever 1/2

And whatever entrenched opposition,no responsible health sec could ignore it if you want NHS 2 be safest health service in world as I do 2/2

Related: The NHS saved me. As a scientist, I must help to save it | Stephen Hawking

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The NHS saved me. As a scientist, I must help to save it | Stephen Hawking

18/08/2017 Stephen Hawking 0

The crisis in the health service has been created by politicians who want to privatise it – when public opinion, and the evidence, point in the opposite direction

Like many people, I have personal experience of the NHS. In my case, medical care, personal life and scientific life are all intertwined. I have received a large amount of high-quality NHS treatment and would not be here today if it were not for the service.

The care I have received since being diagnosed with motor neurone disease as a student in 1962 has enabled me to live my life as I want, and to contribute to major advances in our understanding of the universe. In July I celebrated my 75th birthday with an international science conference in Cambridge. I still have a full-time job as director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and, with two colleagues, am soon to publish another scientific paper on quantum black holes.

Related: Stephen Hawking blames Tory politicians for damaging NHS

When public figures abuse scientific argument to justify policies, it debases scientific culture

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Stephen Hawking blames Tory politicians for damaging NHS

Exclusive: Physicist criticises ministers over funding cuts, privatisation and pay caps before address revealing his reliance on health service

Stephen Hawking has accused ministers of damaging the NHS, blaming the Conservatives in a passionate and sustained attack for slashing funding, weakening the health service though privatisation, demoralising staff by curbing pay and cutting social care support.

The renowned 75-year-old physicist was speaking to promote an address he will give on Saturday outlining how he owes his long life and achievements to the NHS care he received, and setting out his fears for a service he believes is being turned into “a US-style insurance system”.

Related: The NHS saved me. As a scientist, I must help to save it | Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is brilliant physicist but wrong on lack of evidence 4 weekend effect.2015 Fremantle study most comprehensive ever 1/2

And whatever entrenched opposition,no responsible health sec could ignore it if you want NHS 2 be safest health service in world as I do 2/2

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Now NHS cuts are stripping basic medicines from the poor | Polly Toynbee

17/08/2017 Polly Toynbee 0

The government tries to deny cuts exist. But some hapless GPs are being forced to stop providing everyday medications to those unable to pay for them

The retreat of the health service is stealthy and haphazard, as a creeping postcode lottery of cuts gradually erodes the “national” in NHS. IVF, hip and knee operations are being cut back randomly in some regions. In some places patients can only get one cataract fixed: seeing with one eye is enough.

Related: Leak shows ‘devastating’ impact of planned NHS cuts in London

The ban on all over-the-counter medicines comes with a screed of cant about the importance of promoting ‘self-care’

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Health inequality gap ‘is still growing’ in England, new Department of Health data shows

Poor people face years of failing health and earlier death compared to the rich, despite government pledges to reduce inequality

The health gap between rich and poor is growing in England, according to shocking figures compiled by the Department of Health.

Despite government pledges to reduce inequalities in areas such as life expectancy and susceptibility to disability and disease, those living in the most deprived areas of the country run a greater risk of premature death, seeing a child die soon after it is born, and of ending up in hospital as an emergency case. Differing health outcomes for the rich and the poor were identified by Theresa May last year as a “burning injustice”.

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The growing gulf in life expectancy shows how austerity has deepened inequalities

12/08/2017 Denis Campbell 0

The prime minister vowed to fight health injustice. These new figures must be a wake-up call

Public health experts sometimes rework the map of a city’s train or underground system to illustrate the wide differences in life expectancy between wealthy areas and poor ones. For example, every one of the eight stops travelled on the London tube’s Jubilee line east from Westminster, the heart of government, to post-industrial Canning Town in the East End counts for up to a year in diminished life expectancy.

In Glasgow, in the course of the seven-stop trip south-east from Jordanhill to Bridgeton, the average male life expectancy drops from 75.8 years to 61.9 years. In Newcastle upon Tyne, adults living near the airport can hope to remain free of disease and disability – to enjoy healthy life – until just before they turn 75. But a few miles east in Byker that enviable period typically ends before the official retirement age, at just 63.8 years.

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The growing gulf in life expectancy shows how austerity has deepened inequalities

12/08/2017 Denis Campbell 0

The prime minister vowed to fight health injustice. These new figures must be a wake-up call

Public health experts sometimes rework the map of a city’s train or underground system to illustrate the wide differences in life expectancy between wealthy areas and poor ones. For example, every one of the eight stops travelled on the London tube’s Jubilee line east from Westminster, the heart of government, to post-industrial Canning Town in the East End counts for up to a year in diminished life expectancy.

In Glasgow, in the course of the seven-stop trip south-east from Jordanhill to Bridgeton, the average male life expectancy drops from 75.8 years to 61.9 years. In Newcastle upon Tyne, adults living near the airport can hope to remain free of disease and disability – to enjoy healthy life – until just before they turn 75. But a few miles east in Byker that enviable period typically ends before the official retirement age, at just 63.8 years.

Continue reading…

Health inequality gap ‘is still growing’ in England, new Department of Health data shows

Poor people face years of failing health and earlier death compared to the rich, despite government pledges to reduce inequality

The health gap between rich and poor is growing in England, according to shocking figures compiled by the Department of Health.

Despite government pledges to reduce inequalities in areas such as life expectancy and susceptibility to disability and disease, those living in the most deprived areas of the country run a greater risk of premature death, seeing a child die soon after it is born, and of ending up in hospital as an emergency case. Differing health outcomes for the rich and the poor were identified by Theresa May last year as a “burning injustice”.

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NHS patients waiting for hospital care top 4m for first time in a decade

Critics likely to claim breaching of 4 million barrier is proof government is doing too little to help England’s hospitals

More than 4 million patients are waiting to be admitted to hospital in England to have surgery, the highest number in 10 years, the latest official NHS performance statistics reveal.

Hospital bosses said the figure, and a series of missed performance targets on A&E and cancer care, showed that the health service was now unsustainable. Shortages of money, staff and care outside hospitals to keep patients well meant that it could not cope with an ongoing and unprecedented rise in demand, they said.

Related: Shortage of doctors and midwives putting lives at risk – report

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The Guardian view on premature deaths: inequality kills | Editorial

09/08/2017 Editorial 0

England’s northerners are dying younger at far higher rates than their southern counterparts. This is a result of an unequal society with a withered state unable to level life’s playing field

Has England’s north-south divide turned into a deadly one? If the latest research on premature deaths is to be believed, it certainly seems so. Researchers from Manchester University looked at the death rates of two groups of 25 million people either side of a line from the Wash to the Severn estuary. Above the line “northerners” between the ages of 25 to 44 died in much greater numbers than “southerners” below it. The figures are staggering: in the age group 25-34 years nearly a third more northerners died. For those aged between 35 and 44 the mortality rate was 50% higher among northerners. This gap is a modern phenomenon: in 1995 regional mortality converged to within a whisker.

The reasons for the differing rates of death are not, perhaps, as surprising as the causes. Young people die from “diseases of despair” – those associated with drug overdoses, suicides and alcoholism. These blight regions unequally: the north-east had the highest drugs-related mortality rate, 77 per 1 million people. In London the comparable figure is just 32. While the north represents 30% of the population of England, it includes 50% of the poorest neighbourhoods – and a rapid increase in suicides from 2008, concentrated in areas of high unemployment, contributes to higher premature death rates.

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We could close this lethal north-south gap – if we wanted to | Dawn Foster

09/08/2017 Dawn Foster 0

The regional death gap has widened since 2008. If we do not acknowledge the role that poverty plays, poorer people will continue to suffer

If the Conservative party were a car, it would be in dire need of new tyres, having worn the treads bare with the sheer number of policy U-turns since this year’s snap general election. The reversal on funding rail electrification in the north and Wales is symbolic of the Conservatives’ contempt for the regions, and symptomatic of how Britain has prioritised the south even more under a Tory government. The south-east ravenously consumes infrastructure spending and political attention, with London as the capital for capital.

Related: ‘Alarming’ rise in early deaths of young adults in the north of England – study

More of my school friends were killed in Afghanistan than write for national newspapers

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