Currently showing: Funding longer lives > Long-term care

28 Aug 13 11:18

A leaked report has revealed that thousands more elderly people died in the past year in the UK than the Government had expected, particularly in poorer areas of the country.
Public Health England acknowledged it had carried out the analysis, and in a recent report, which it did publish, it noted the severity of influenza and other viruses over the most recent winter, and observed: “The number of deaths during 2012/13 was high. However, other experts suggest that cuts to local government social care budgets may be to blame.

Official projections estimated there would be around 455,000 deaths in England between the summers of 2012 and 2013. The actual number was almost 25,000 greater than that, an increase of around 5 per cent on top of Office of National Statistics expectations.

The research also broke down the numbers to look specifically at the so-called “Spearhead authorities” – the areas of the country which fare poorest for life expectancy and mortality rates.It noted that: “Worryingly, female 75-and-over mortality trends appear to have been worse in the Spearhead areas.” There was even a clearly-observable tailing-off of life expectancy in these areas.

EXCLUSIVE: Unexpected rise in deaths among older people

Public health officials are closely monitoring death rates as mortality among older people has been unexpectedly increasing since the beginning of 2012, HSJ has learned.

Category: Funding longer lives: Long-term care

Location: UK


Howard Smith - 28 Aug 2013, 5:03 p.m.

Here's coverage of the same news from The Independent ... (link below).

I am rather skeptical about this story, I must say. When no strong hypothesis is even given for the "unexpected" data, I am inclined to be concerned that there is a large element of mis-understanding and mis-use of statistics.

Already, I think there is a large "correlation is not causation" problem with a lot of reported risk of X increases due to Y stories. Here, my feeling is that there's some over-reaching for a story that may not really exist in the data.

Rashunda Tramble - 29 Aug 2013, 10:18 a.m.

To paraphrase Benjamin Disraeli (or Mark Twain): There are three types of lies...lies, damned lies and statistics. Excuse me if this seems trite, but could it be that the original expected numbers were off?

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