Dickensian diseases that is gout, whooping cough and scarlet fever on rise

Recently there has been sharp rise in hospital visits reported by some news papers, for diseases that were common during the Victorian era, such as scarlet fever, whooping cough and gout. In this regard a research was conducted which suggest that certain illnesses virtually being eradicated in the 1950s, hospital attendances for some “Victorian diseases” have risen by 52% since 2010-11, an increase of over 3,000 admissions a year. This alarming rise has been put down to sustained cuts to local authority public health budgets, which experts say have resulted in the services that protect against illness being scaled back.

According to Helen Donovan, the Royal College of Nursing’s professional lead for public health, “The government should accept its responsibility for failing the most vulnerable in our society and commit to investing properly in vital public health services,”

Leading Cause  ( Scarlet Fever)

Recently hospital visits for scarlet fever is a leading cause of infant deaths in the early 20th century. This has risen from 429 in 2010-11 to 1,321 in 2017-18. Previously this fever was virtually wiped out in the 1950s following a nationwide vaccination programme, admissions with a primary diagnosis of whooping cough increased by 59%. Malnutrition numbers went up from 531 to 819 over the same time scale and gout numbers rose from 4,935 to 6,824, an increase of 38%.

Research By Labour Party

The research, conducted by the Labour party, was verified by the House of Commons library. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health and social care secretary, said: “Dickensian diseases on the rise in Tory Britain today. Isn’t it shameful and as socialists we must respond.”
He added: “The damning truth is austerity is making our society sicker. It means the poor die younger. Since 2010, while food banks scatter across the land admission to hospital for malnutrition have increased by 54%. 2,539 people were diagnosed with tuberculosis last year.”

Lack To Promote Good Hygiene

Donovan said: “It’s very concerning that these conditions, associated with a bygone era, seem to be on the resurgence. There are many reasons behind this but one thing that cannot be ignored is the effect of sustained cuts to local authority public health budgets which have caused the services that screen, prevent and protect against illness, and promote good hygiene to be scaled back.”

It comes as Labour announces the goal for life expectancy and healthy life expectancy to match the best of Britain’s international peers by 2030. Ashworth said: “We are facing a national emergency as widening health inequalities blight the land. Not only have advances in life expectancy begun to stall for the first time in a hundred years, it’s even going backwards amongst some of the poorest communities.” A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:“We’re committed to giving everyone five extra years of healthy, independent life by 2035 and reducing the gap between the rich and poor. We’ve already made progress, with cancer survival at a record high and smoking rates at an all-time low.

The Commitment

“We’re committed to ensuring everyone gets the same great healthcare no matter where they live, which is why our long term plan for the NHS puts tackling health inequalities at its heart.”


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