Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker - Number of people going to hospital for hunger triples

Issue No. 2602

More people going to hospital to be treated for malnourishment

More people going to hospital to be treated for malnourishment (Pic: Rural Health Professionals/Flickr)


The number of people who are so malnourished they have to go to hospital has more than tripled in the last ten years.

Last year 8,417 patients were treated for malnutrition—compared with just 2,702 in 2008.

Of those admitted in 2017, 143 were under the age of nine and another 238 were aged between ten and 19.

In another shock statistic, the number of people in hospital with scurvy, from a lack of vitamin C, has doubled in the same period from 61 to 128 cases.

The figures for hospitals in England by NHS Digital show just the tip of the iceberg as GPs have been treating thousands more for malnutrition without referring them to hospital.

Research by the Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank organiser, showed that one in five parents skipped meals to make sure their children were fed.

More struggle to feed their families during the school holidays.

The Food Foundation think tank calculates that four million people in Britain regularly go a day without meals.

The research put the UK below Hungary, Estonia and Malta in the bottom half of European countries suffering moderate levels of hunger.

Scurvy can strike if you go for months with a deficiency of vitamin C, which is found in fruit and veg.


Revision classes for six year olds

Children as young as six are being asked to revise for Sats tests next month and take practice papers home. The tests are taken in Year 2 and Year 6, at the end of infant and primary school respectively.

Teachers say, however, that even infant school children are expected to revise for the tests, which became harder under reforms introduced in 2014.

Three fifths of teachers said their school held mock Key Stage 1 Sats, taken by six and seven year olds, according to a survey by the National Education Union.

And three quarters said that preparation for Sats in Year 6 squeezed out other parts of the curriculum.

A third said that this was also the case in Year 2. Three in ten of the 500 respondents said their school expected Year 2 children to revise for Sats, with one in 12 running after-school revision classes—for six year olds.


No way out of private rent for third of people

Up to a third of young people face living in private rented accommodation all their lives, a new report by the Resolution Foundation has found.

Some 40 percent of those born between 1980 and 1996—were living in rented housing by the age of 30.

That was twice as many as those born between 1965 and 1980.

The Foundation’s Home Improvements report said “generation rent” needed much more help.

It called for more affordable homes to be built, as well as better protection for those who rent.

According to the report although renting is often a choice for people who have few ties, the private rented sector is “far less fit for purpose” for parents because of a lack of security.

The report reveals that a record 1.8 million families with children rent privately, up from 600,000 15 years ago.

Some actual council houses would help.


100 investigations into abuse case cops

There are nearly 100 investigations into the police response to allegations of child sexual abuse in Rotherham.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it was overseeing 98 investigations at the

start of April. This compares with 62 at the same time last year.

The IOPC said 45 of the inquiries have been completed, and that 33 current and former cops are still being investigated.

It has identified potential misconduct by officers.

A recent book by one survivor, Sammy Woodhouse, highlighted repeated police failings to act on evidence of abuse.

She said her abuser seemed “invisible” to some officers.

“I understood that he had friends in the

police, and that some of them must have been looking out for us,” she wrote.


No train? So get a bus

A rail enthusiast has kept a diary of services in his local area—and found that more than half are cancelled or delayed. Tim Brown kept a diary of a week’s services due to end or pass through Worcester Shrub Hill station.

He found that 164 out of 379 scheduled services were either more than ten minutes late or cancelled altogether.

Meanwhile train boss Charles Horton, answering complaints, stunned commuters by telling them they had an alternative to delayed and packed Govia Thameslink Railway services. He told people they could get a bus.


Wakey wakey

Officials have rejected a petition to 10 Downing Street that would mean “instant dismissal” for MPs who doze off during debates.

“We the people do not pay the wages of MPs so we can watch them sleep,” writes the petitioner. Why was the plan rejected? “We’re not sure exactly what you’d like the government or parliament to do,” is the official reply. “We’re not sure exactly how you would like this to work.”


Always keep the receipts

A PEER must give back £15,757 following a travel expenses investigation.

Lord Bassam of Brighton quit as Labour Lord’s chief whip.

Rather than use his £36,366 a year allowance to cover a London home or hotel bills, he travelled to and from Brighton and claimed an extra £6,400 a year for train tickets and cab fares.

An inquiry found Lord Bassam’s belief he could claim both was wrong but “understandable” due to a lack of clarity in guidelines.


The Things They Say

‘They are basically Remainer names’

Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, thought there must be a coded message in the new royal scrounger’s names

‘Amber Rudd is in a surprisingly strong position, because the PM can’t afford to lose her’

John Rentoul in the Independent newspaper the day she resigned

‘Actually the latest leaked letter supports Rudd’

The Daily Mail’s Dan Hodges five hours before she resigned

‘He’s very thick-skinned’

The US ambassador explains why Donald Trump will be ok with protests against his visit in July

‘When I was home secretary, yes, there were targets in terms of removing people from the country’

Prime Minister for now, Theresa May defends her hostile environment for migrants


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