Gransnet forums


Winter deaths webchat with Dan Jarvis MP

(37 Posts)
LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 22-Apr-16 18:16:53

UPDATE: Dan Jarvis MP has answered your questions further down on the thread, here.

We're pleased to announce gransnetters will have the chance to ask Labour MP Dan Jarvis their questions during his webchat with Mumsnet on Tuesday 26 April at 12.30pm. Dan is currently campaigning on excess winter deaths among older people.

The ONS estimates that 43,900 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2014/15. The majority of excess winter deaths for both sexes occurred amongst those aged 75 and over, with women aged 85 and over having the greatest number of such deaths. (‘Excess winter deaths’ are calculated by comparing the number of deaths between December and March to the average number of deaths in the preceding August - November and the following April - July.) Dan’s aim is to find out why this is happening, and to persuade local authorities and other agencies involved in the care of older people to work together to address any gaps in services.

Before becoming an MP Dan served in the Parachute Regiment and was deployed to Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was in the shadow cabinet during the last Parliament, most recently as shadow minister for justice, and is now on the back benches.

Please do add your questions to the thread below, and we'll post Dan's answers back on this thread after the webchat.

whitewave Fri 22-Apr-16 21:33:58

Oh I hope you aren't including us in the winter deaths - we are all invincible on here.

Two things I think.

The first is cold of course. So keep warm.

The second is to avoid crowds. I have my shopping delivered, and always wear gloves -rather like her Maj when I do go shopping. Sounds paranoid but it works! Hardly dare say but haven't had a cold since I can't remember. Before adopting these tactics I had dreadful viruses and colds every year.

whitewave Fri 22-Apr-16 21:35:16

Oh I have just realised I should have asked a question! Ignore above and I can assure you I am not as dotty as I sound.

durhamjen Fri 22-Apr-16 22:20:15

How old are you whitewave? Not old enough to be included in these statistics.

My question for Dan Jarvis is:

How do you know when a woman over 85 dies that it is an excess death?
I thought statistics had always said that there are more deaths in January to March anyway.

whitewave Fri 22-Apr-16 23:03:19


durhamjen Fri 22-Apr-16 23:19:22

That was a rhetorical question.
You have five years for Dan Jarvis to do his research and save you from being an excess death statistic.

JessM Sat 23-Apr-16 01:45:33

Hello Dan. Many older people are living in poorly heated and poorly insulated homes, putting them at risk.
The coalition government cut back ECO funding (spinning it as "Green Taxes") despite the evidence that investing in home insulation can help prevent premature deaths in the winter and take pressure over the NHS.
I would hope that when we get a Labour government more money can be invested in this. It is a double win as improving energy efficiency is the most cost effective way of reducing carbon emissions.
Are you involved in developing Labour policy in this area? If not, who is?
While we await an election is there anything else that can be done by individuals?

thatbags Sat 23-Apr-16 07:08:44

Is the number of so-called "excess" deaths falling? For example, is the figure for 2014/15 lower by a significant amount than it was, say, fifty or a hundred years ago? And if so, can this pattern be seen in general with regard to this issue?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then I think we're on the right track.

A third question, if I may, why are you wearing a black tie?

durhamjen Sat 23-Apr-16 11:51:48

Is it not better to persuade the government rather than local authorities?
The government is cutting the grants to local authorities so there is not enough money in the pot for them to do anything about it.

durhamjen Sat 23-Apr-16 13:26:11

If you do not want to wait, bags, your answers are on the ONS link.

durhamjen Sat 23-Apr-16 13:26:33

Apart from the black tie, of course.

thatbags Sat 23-Apr-16 16:21:41

Thanks. The numbers do seem to be going down over time, which is good.

Teetime Sun 24-Apr-16 13:17:50

Dan what is your reaction to the report in yesterdays press that the 111 service is causing excess deaths by being slow to respond and giving inaccurate advice and indeed that this has been known about for some time?

phoenix Sun 24-Apr-16 14:43:50

bags looks more like very dark navy blue to me!

thatbags Sun 24-Apr-16 15:03:12

Yes, phoenix, I agree. I've just seen GN's tweet about this in which the photo is better quality and the blue shows up. Black ties are for funerals and subfusc. You don't actually have to wear a black tie for Black Tie events, do you?

phoenix Sun 24-Apr-16 16:03:28

Well, I never have, but then I don't often wear a tie.

Jenty61 Sun 24-Apr-16 18:06:18

its happening because the majority of old people cant afford the heating!!

Ana Sun 24-Apr-16 18:44:23

Just looked properly at the title of this thread - 'Winter deaths webchat'. Hmm...

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 24-Apr-16 20:45:51

Is it somehow relevant that he was in the Parachute Regiment? Does it help to give him some sort of insight into why old ladies are popping their clogs all over the place between Dcember and March? confused

Tegan Sun 24-Apr-16 21:01:51

I'm wondering if a lot of elderly people who find it difficult to travel to a surgery stop having the flu jab and it's more difficult these days to get someone to do a house visit to give them the jab.

durhamjen Sun 24-Apr-16 22:29:19

Jenty, I think you mean many, not most. According to statistics it's 10%.

Bags, the numers went up 140% last year from the year before. The winter 2015/16 figures are not out yet. They were going down gradually, but have now spiked again. That's not good.

thatbags Mon 25-Apr-16 06:27:32

I agree that flu spikes or other such things that cause increases in winter deaths (which are, however, always higher than in other parts of the year) are not good. The information in the ONS report was a bit vague but it did seem to be saying that there was a flu spike in the winter it covered.

Interesting point, tegan, about some old people not being able to get to GP surgeries, or elsewhere, to get their flu jabs.

Teetime Mon 25-Apr-16 09:44:02

My District Nurses and Specialist Community Nurses gave the flu vac to the housebound and still do as far as I'm aware (that's in Essex).

durhamjen Mon 25-Apr-16 11:11:22

The spike appeared to be from all causes, not influenza.

Tegan Mon 25-Apr-16 14:56:28

Our village surgery closed down a couple of years ago for financial reasons. It provided a very personal service, especially to the elderly population of the village. I did read that somewhere else in the country a surgery/surgeries had started to provide coffee mornings for elderly patients and their health had improved for it. Our surgery did provide that sort of friendly welcoming atmosphere and the patients would come in and chat with other local people when they came to collect prescriptions etc. They now have to travel 5 miles by bus to the nearest surgery if they don't have transport.