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Posted on 11th January 2017

Two patients die each day from starvation or thirst in hospitals and care homes

Figures from the Office of National Statistics have found that in 2015 856 people died from hunger and thirst, whilst in care.

The figures looked at those who died in care homes and hospitals. The Sun reported that malnutrition was mentioned on 297 death certifications and dehydration on 429, of those people who died in hospital.

The figures for those who died in care homes were lower at 54 and 76 respectively.

These figures come as the British Red Cross warned of a “humanitarian crisis” in the NHS and the death of two patients left for long periods on hospital trolleys in corridors.

The prime minister and her aides have criticised the Red Cross for its description of the NHS, following pressure leading to bed shortages and increased waiting times in all areas.

Earlier this week the charity revealed it had been helping hospitals with transport of patients and social care.

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said that his organisation had a duty to highlight the problems. “We have started talking about this as a humanitarian crisis,” he writes in The Times. “We don’t say this lightly and we have a duty to say it.

“I’ve been asked repeatedly whether it’s proportionate to use a term associated with Syria, Yemen and the Lake Chad region of west Africa about the NHS. Of course each of those crises is different. But to the British Red Cross, every crisis is personal.”

Justine Greening, the education secretary, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I have seen a number of humanitarian crises for myself, whether tackling Ebola or the Nepal earthquake, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the Syria crisis, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to describe the challenges that the NHS faces this winter as a humanitarian crisis.”

The government has pledged to find the £10billion of extra funding demanded by the chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens.

The prime minister has publicly rejected the idea of a humanitarian crisis by telling Sky News: “I don’t accept the description that the Red Cross has made on this,”

“Yes there are pressures on the NHS . . . we recognise those pressures . . . but we are also looking to ensure best practice in the NHS.”

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