ACCORDING to the most recent survey by the Office of National Statistics there were 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2017-2018 ­— largely made up of the over-70 age group.

This is the highest total since the winter of 1975/1976.

Within the first seven weeks of 2018, there was a rise of 12.4 per cent over the previous year, despite the fact that the weather had been unusually mild.

A previous study undertaken by researchers from Oxford University, along with other professional bodies, concluded that the most likely cause of the massive increase in mortality rates ­— again, highest in the older population ­— is the dramatic reduction in the provision of social care.

There has been a 17% decrease in spending on older people since 2009.

A nurse who worked at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, where more than 450 older patients, some with relatively minor complaints, had had their lives "shortened" (why use a euphemism when everyone knows exactly what it means) stated, quite bluntly, on a recent television programme, that the hospital had become a "dumping ground" for older people.

An independent investigation led by Bishop James Jones found there was a "disregard for human life" at the hospital.

What an indictment of our society when we cannot give our older citizens proper care when they really need it.

We live in an era where ageism is rife and which has been described as being as bad as racism. Which other section of society could be so badly treated without protests being undertaken?

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