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15 replies

dubsie · 06/07/2023 20:55

I watched a rather worrying programme regarding the NHS and the nations health. It featured Lord Winston who is a medical pioneer.

He touched on the problems the NHS faces but more importantly drew a very worrying conclusion. That the NHS is being asked to solve the nations social problems in a country blighted by extreme poverty. Be said that the NHS can't solve social problems or poverty and that will require political will.

He then warned that that he was not optimistic about the future of our healthcare system and said that the fact that the UK has seen a stark decline in life expectancy is a clear sign that things are very serious.

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calmcoco · 06/07/2023 21:01

Things are very serious. A great many of our issues are related to increased poverty which has been a deliberate choice made by the Tories since 2010.

Having high percentages of people living in poverty drags everyone down - it affects those individuals awfully but is such a drain on all in terms of services and social resilience.

dubsie · 06/07/2023 22:48

I agree, it's shocking how much damage has been done over a relatively short period of time.

Our standards, safety net and core services have been destroyed and it will take two decades to even begin to repair the damage.

Declining life expectancy is a clear warning sign there we are in dangerous water and that is likely to get a lot worse because the data supports it. Diabetes, Liver Disease, High Blood pressure and cardiovascular disease is rising at an alarming rate .....those will bring down life expectancy very sharply. All this at a time when the healthcare system is on its knees you can understand why lord Winston isn't optimistic.

I'm afraid this could bankrupt the entire system and hurt the whole country....

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KnickerlessParsons · 06/07/2023 23:22

There U.K. is not "blighted by extreme poverty". Go to parts of Asia or Africa to find out what "extreme poverty" really is, or read a book about life in the U.K. as recently as 50/60 years ago.

dubsie · 07/07/2023 07:40

That's where you are wrong, the poorest 20% are now poorer than the poorest 20% of Poland and Lithuania. Lord Winston knows what's he talking about and he's not the sort of person who says that sort of thing lightly.

A ex Tory chancellor was talking about extreme poverty in the UK. I'm afraid if it doesn't affect you you likely don't see it. Unfortunately those working in social care and hospitals see it everyday.

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sorrynotathome · 07/07/2023 07:46

I think @KnickerlessParsons means that poverty is relative. Most of the health service’s problems stem from our ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles and inadequate social care provision, rather than “extreme poverty”.

dubsie · 07/07/2023 08:02

But that's not what all the experts are saying. When 20% of the poorest are now poorer than those in Lithuania it raises serious issues for one of the wealthiest countries on the planet.

Poverty is relative and that's the whole point because comparing a billionaire to someone working in McDonald's will deliver huge differences but this is comparing the poorest from a relatively poor country to the poorest to a very wealthy country.

Lord Winston makes it clear this is having a catastrophic impact on the nations health...so you either go with the facts or you don't

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sorrynotathome · 07/07/2023 08:20

I guess you don’t know much about Lithuania or Poland? They’re not that poor.

LadyGardenersQuestionTime · 07/07/2023 08:58

This is very much Lord Winston’s interpretation and OP seems to be very “what LW says must be facts”.

Certainly instances of high BP, heart disease, diabetes and liver disease are increasing but traditionally these are diseases of old age and wealth; once you’re over 80 your body is going to start to struggle, and if you eat a diet high in calories, meat, low quality carbs, alcohol and processed foods and lead a sedentary life then you’re more likely to develop those diseases. Rich people can do that just as well as poor people. I suspect “poor” is a euphemism for a whole package of disadvantages and inequalities and that poverty might be a consequence of those disadvantages.

KnickerlessParsons · 07/07/2023 19:55

sorrynotathome · 07/07/2023 07:46

I think @KnickerlessParsons means that poverty is relative. Most of the health service’s problems stem from our ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles and inadequate social care provision, rather than “extreme poverty”.

I agree.
There is certainly poverty in this country - there always has been, and there always will be. Same as anywhere else.
But I stick by my statement that there is no "extreme poverty" in the U.K. (or very very little).

Piggywaspushed · 25/12/2023 12:50

Diabetes disease of wealth? Give over. Look up the differing life expectancy of men in Blackpool and Kensjngton.

Did he mention Covid at all? More than many other affluent countries this decreased life expectancy too, and male life expectancy is no longer projected to catch up in female in 2030.

Winston is not the only slarmed person. Sir Michael Marmot keeps sounding the alarm.

Piggywaspushed · 25/12/2023 13:10

Just realised this is old...

dubsie · 26/12/2023 16:58

Anyone who says extreme poverty doesn't exist in the UK is sadly delusional. It's now common place in Britain and those of us who work in peoples homes, schools and healthcare settings will have seem it daily.

It's not something we should accept as just the way it is, because it's something that is easily solved....it just takes resolve and the guts to actually do things that might not be popular with the majority.

Diseases like Rickets are back in some parts of the country... something we've not seem since I was a child in the 1960s.

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tescocreditcard · 26/12/2023 17:05

There is serious poverty in the UK but not extreme poverty.

Increased drug use is responsible for most of the decline in life expectancy. As in Scotland and the USA too. Drugs are coming into the West at a truly alarming rate now. Don't know what the answer is, only know that whatever we're doing isn't working.

but yes, the NHS is not fit for purpose any more and Winston is right - the NHS can't fix social problems and poverty.

calmcoco · 26/12/2023 17:47

tescocreditcard · 26/12/2023 17:05

There is serious poverty in the UK but not extreme poverty.

Increased drug use is responsible for most of the decline in life expectancy. As in Scotland and the USA too. Drugs are coming into the West at a truly alarming rate now. Don't know what the answer is, only know that whatever we're doing isn't working.

but yes, the NHS is not fit for purpose any more and Winston is right - the NHS can't fix social problems and poverty.

This is not correct.

A great many people can't afford food. That is extreme poverty.

A great many people have no home. That is extreme poverty.

Increasing numbers of people have malnutrition. Caused by extreme poverty.

dubsie · 27/12/2023 08:28

Exactly, the level of poverty we have now is comparable with countries we regard as poor. But here is the reality those countries we regard as poor also have huge disparities in wealth....which is why our trend is extremely worrying. Because it's a political choice for one of the richest countries in the world to cut the safety net for millions living in poverty driving them into extreme poverty and despair.

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