Government cuts to social services could be killing large numbers of vulnerable people in England, a health journal has said, as new figures show 2015 saw the biggest increase in the national death rate for decades.
Preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate mortality rates in 2015 rose by 5.4 percent on 2014 – an increase of nearly 27,000 deaths, bringing the total to 528,340.
Death rates in England and Wales had been falling since the 1970s, but this trend reversed in 2011 when mortality rates started rising.
Health advisers are now saying the rising death rate could be caused by cuts to vital social services. Oxford University Professor Danny Dorling, who is also an adviser to Public Health England, said the increase in deaths could be the biggest since World War II.
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