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    This is the final response to me, about winter deaths among the elderly, from my MP Sarah Wollason.

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    Parliament....
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    This is the final response to me, about winter deaths among the elderly, from my MP Sarah Wollason.

    Post by Parliament.... on Fri 27 May 2011, 7:04 pm

    Dear Mr xxxxxxxxxx

    Thank you for writing to me again regarding pensioners and winter deaths.

    I appreciate you sending me through information, unfortunately we have a dire financial situation in the UK and therefore the Government does not see it possible to increase pensions by such an amount at this stage.

    With regards to winter deaths, I am aware of the levels as I have already spoken about it in the House of Commons. However I wanted to find the exact figures and information for you.

    I agree that winter deaths are not helped by the increasing cost of fuel. I have also been campaigning for lower fuel costs and constant increasing prices from utility companies. Which is why I was pleased when Ofgem announced the new 30 day notice rule for changing prices. This will give people an opportunity to shop around for the best deal.

    The table below shows details of excess winter deaths since 1986/87. I have included the number of deaths per day and hour to aid comparison with the rate of 9 deaths per hour as highlighted in the Daily Mail.

    While the Daily Mail article appears to imply that excess winter deaths are all attributable to cold weather, the number of extra deaths occurring in winter varies depending not only on temperature, but also on the level of disease (particularly influenza) in the population, as well as other factors. The winter of 2009/10 was the coldest since 1995/96, but levels of influenza were below baseline levels for most of the winter season. Despite the cold and snowy weather the level of excess winter mortality in 2009/10 was similar to years with much milder temperatures. The highest excess winter mortality in recent years was seen in 1999/2000, when the level of influenza reached epidemic levels, but the average winter temperature was relatively mild. Thus, the relationship between temperature and excess winter mortality is not clear in recent years.

    Although excess winter mortality is associated with low temperatures, conditions directly relating to cold, such as hypothermia, are not the main cause of excess winter mortality. The majority of additional winter deaths are caused by cerebrovascular diseases, ischaemic heart disease and respiratory diseases.
    Excess winter mortality in England and Wales, 1986/86 to 2009/10
    Winter Excess winter deaths Deaths per day Deaths per hour
    1986/1987 26,370 220 9
    1987/1988 32,970 275 11
    1988/1989 21,160 176 7
    1989/1990 47,200 393 16
    1990/1991 37,940 316 13
    1991/1992 34,850 290 12
    1992/1993 25,650 214 9
    1993/1994 25,900 216 9
    1994/1995 27,290 227 9
    1995/1996 40,190 335 14
    1996/1997 47,690 397 17
    1997/1998 22,900 191 8
    1998/1999 46,840 390 16
    1999/2000 48,440 404 17
    2000/2001 24,840 207 9
    2001/2002 27,230 227 9
    2002/2003 23,970 200 8
    2003/2004 23,450 195 8
    2004/2005 31,640 264 11
    2005/2006 25,270 211 9
    2006/2007 23,740 198 8
    2007/2008 24,690 206 9
    2008/2009 36,450 304 13
    2009/2010 25,400 212 9
    Source: Office for National Statistics

    The Mail article also cites the director of Age UK stating that 'The simple fact that the UK has one of the highest winter mortality rates in Europe higher than even Sweden or Finland makes it clear this is very much a home-grown problem.
    There are only a limited number of research studies that compare the levels of excess winter deaths in different countries. Possibly the most useful individual study is Excess winter mortality in Europe: a cross country analysis identifying key risk factors by J D Healy, which looked at excess winter deaths across 14 countries between 1988 and 1997. It found that Mediterranean countries such as Portugal and Spain had the highest excess winter death rates. The UK did have higher rates than Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and France. This study is available here: http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/10/784.full

    I know the Government continues to be concerned about winter deaths, which is why is it will continue to provide the winter fuel allowance and why the Government has permanently increased the cold weather payment from 8.50 a week to 25 a week which the last Government had not planned to do.

    Best wishes,

    Dr Sarah Wollaston
    Member of Parliament for Totnes
    House of Commons|London|SW1A 0AA
    Tel: 02072194064

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    papa_umau
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    Re: This is the final response to me, about winter deaths among the elderly, from my MP Sarah Wollason.

    Post by papa_umau on Sat 28 May 2011, 1:04 pm

    MP Sarah Wollason:

    "I appreciate you sending me through information, unfortunately we have a dire financial situation in the UK and therefore the Government does not see it possible to increase pensions by such an amount at this stage".


    And as I said to you in my e-mail I am not surprised by this stance as the Tories can always find money for many and sundry reasons but they are never able to find money to fix this particular running sore - ( or words to that effect ).

    I guess it is all about priorities and the priorities of the pensioners in Britain come well down the list of spending plans for the Tories.


    _________________
    Best of regards

    Papa......



    Parliament....
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    Re: This is the final response to me, about winter deaths among the elderly, from my MP Sarah Wollason.

    Post by Parliament.... on Sat 28 May 2011, 2:47 pm

    papa_umau wrote:
    MP Sarah Wollason:

    "I appreciate you sending me through information, unfortunately we have a dire financial situation in the UK and therefore the Government does not see it possible to increase pensions by such an amount at this stage".


    And as I said to you in my e-mail I am not surprised by this stance as the Tories can always find money for many and sundry reasons but they are never able to find money to fix this particular running sore - ( or words to that effect ).

    I guess it is all about priorities and the priorities of the pensioners in Britain come well down the list of spending plans for the Tories.

    And all ways have done Pap. She could not care less, but im not letting this rest.

    Here is the image-file that you wanted me to copy and paste to this thread:

    Sadly I cannot make it any bigger.

    Anyone wanting to read it will just have to use the magnifier in their browser utilities - as I do.


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    Re: This is the final response to me, about winter deaths among the elderly, from my MP Sarah Wollason.

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