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Thursday 20th October 2016

Four patients a day die from hunger

23rd January 2012
Data released by the Office for National Statistics has shown an increase in the amount of patients whose deaths are caused by dehydration and malnutrition.

The new information revealed that four deaths every day were due to hunger or thirst in NHS and private hospitals.
The information showed that 48 people died because of malnutrition in 2010 and 155 died due to dehydration.
Another 812 patients were discovered to be dehydrated when they died, while 301 were malnourished, although these conditions did not directly cause their deaths.
A decade ago 862 deaths were linked with the two conditions, but in 2010 the number had risen to 1,316.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, told the Daily Mail: "These figures are a terrible indictment of our precious National Health Service. They represent avoidable deaths. These people needed our care when they were at their most vulnerable."

Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said: "There must be systematic monitoring of malnutrition in older patients. From the hospital ward to the hospital board, everyone needs to take responsibility and help stop this scandal."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Many patients who suffer or die from malnutrition and dehydration are admitted to hospital with these conditions and have underlying health conditions like cancer that make them more susceptible to these problems."

"However, every NHS patient has the right to expect that they are looked after properly in hospital." 

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