“People are dying in such large numbers during the winter months because of the cold.”
“March 2013 was the coldest since 1962 with an average monthly temperature of just 2.6°C.
“The figures are in line with 2010-2011, which saw 1,960 deaths and was also one of the harshest winters in recent decades.
“Health boards in Wales have warned of ‘unprecedented demand’ on services this winter as figures show big rise in excess deaths last winter
“Statistics released this morning show that there were 1,900 excess winter deaths in 2012-2013, up from 1,260 in 2011-2012.
“Last year saw one of the coldest winters in recent times, with the impact of the cold temperatures taking its toll on many services.
“Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Last winter extended into March and April with an end to winter which was unlike any other for more than half a century before it. The impact on our unscheduled care services was profound.
“Age Cymru’s head of policy and public affairs Graeme Francis said: “Age Cymru remains very concerned that people are dying in such large numbers during the winter months because of the cold.
“We know that last winter older people in Wales were more likely to have cut back on their heating and eating than those anywhere else in the UK.
“Rising energy prices are likely to mean more people are put in this position again this winter and this, combined with very cold weather, could be very dangerous for many older people.
“The fact that older people in our communities are risking their health because they are afraid to turn up their heat or are going without food is clear evidence that we are failing them.
“The fact that people actually die in these entirely preventable circumstances is our national shame.”
“Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, said:“This shocking rise in excess winter deaths highlights the true cost of energy bills that have increased dramatically in recent years and people being forced to make a choice between heating their homes and eating.”
Thanks to Jim Shepherd for this link