The NHS experienced the busiest week in its history last week, with record numbers of hospitals having to send patients elsewhere or declare a major alert.
Fifty-two hospital trusts had to send ambulances elsewhere between 8 and 15 January, up from 39 the previous week and 27 in the second week of January last year, NHS England figures show.
Hospitals activate “A&E divert” plans when their emergency department is struggling with the number of patients turning up seeking care.
Sixty-eight trusts – 45% of the 152 in total in England – declared an alert last week, up from 65 the week before, in another sign that some hospitals can no longer meet demand.
NHS England said the rise was partly due to a change in how it records data, but doctors said last week was the most challenging and relentless they had ever faced.
On Monday 9 January 61 trusts issued an alert, which is thought to be the highest number ever on a single day.
Fifteen trusts were on alert continuously for 11 days in a row between 3 and 13 January. They included trusts in Stoke-on-Trent and in Copeland, Cumbria, where two parliamentary byelections are due.
Overall, England’s 152 acute NHS trusts – which between them run about 250 hospitals – recorded bed occupancy rates of 95.8% last week, well above the 85% considered safe. That was up slightly on the 94.8% in the week after the new year holiday weekend.
On Tuesday 10 January bed occupancy across England hit 96.4%, 15 trusts were full and another 24 had five beds or fewer free for patients who needed to be admitted as an emergency.
How political are your pubes? It’s not a question most of us spend much time worrying about, yet when you’re a woman, how you choose to cultivate your lady garden sprouts up as a topic with tedious regularity. In its latest incarnation, the arbiters at Tatler magazine have declared the “freedom bush” back in fashion (those who sneer at the notion of the pudenda being subject to changing aesthetic trends would do well to remember that dark mid-noughties period: the “vajazzle years”). If even the conservative, conventional Sloane is cultivating a full bush then, it’s worth noting, that could indeed hint at a seismic shift in societal norms regarding pubic grooming. But equally, after years and years of the same “debate”, is it not time that feminist coverage in the media was directed elsewhere? In other words, magazine editors, enough already.
We are just emerging from a period that has seen a new generation embrace feminism in a way that the capitalist post-feminists of the 1990s could scarcely have imagined. Much of this has been powerful and positive: the conversation about the importance of sexual consent, for instance, and how it operates within a culture that continues to trivialise rape, has never been louder and more energetic. The fightback against street harassment has been equally inspirational. But at the same time a strand of feminism in the media has spent the last few years concerning itself with issues that many would dismiss as trivial, including pubes, and footwear, and 50 Shades of Grey, not to mention that perennial question that birthed a million op-eds: is Beyoncé a feminist or not?
As a writer, I have been guilty of entering into some of these debates. With an internet media run on opinion, feminist polemic can feel like one of the few journalistic avenues open to the young, aspiring woman writer (critiquing media sexism is how I began my own career, and I am grateful to it, but I have said my piece on women’s magazines). For a long while, talking about the more trivial aspects of the feminist debate – as opposed to, for instance, boring old domestic violence – was the only way to get feminism covered in the mainstream media.
But as time has gone on, the focus on the fluffy – so often to the point where it appears to be given equal billing to more urgent and distressing issues affecting women – has irked me, and other feminists writers, more and more. Perhaps it is because I have been in this game for a while now, and have thus seen the same topics recycled several times over with very little new being said (my friend and colleague Emer O’Toole wrote the definitive piece on female body hair several years ago – what could be left to say about it?). Or perhaps it is because I have grown up a tad in the past five years. But more than either of those two things, I would reason that this is a time when the need for feminism is making itself acutely obvious in all manner of ways. There is so very little to laugh about, to the point where even the notion of a “freedom foof” fails to raise a smile.
Donald Trump, a man with so much obvious contempt for women that it feels almost unbelievable – like watching a fictional dystopia play out on our TV screens – is running for president. Analysis has shown that, if women were excluded and only US men were eligible to vote, Trump would win the election. It is abundantly clear that there are millions of people who would rather have a fascist than a female as leader. We are told that women can achieve anything in this day and age – “so what are you whining about?” being the inevitable subtext. “Look at Hillary,” we are told, to which the inevitable rebuttal is: “Yes, look at Hillary. Look at what she is up against.”
There are other concerns, of course. The way the previous sexual behaviour of the complainant in the Ched Evans case was pored over during his successful appeal and in court this month has caused widespread dismay. Then there’s the closure of domestic violence shelters – 17% have closed due to funding cuts, 32 of which were specialist services for black and ethnic minority women, and 48% of 167 domestic violence services in England said they were running services without any funding. Two women a week are murdered by their partners or ex-partners, and vulnerable women such as female asylum seekers continue to be abused. There were 99 pregnant women held in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre last year. Three Serco workers are currently in court over the alleged rape of a Yarl’s Wood detainee. As a recent report noted, the harassment and abuse of young girls in schools is endemic.
I took part in a feminist debate this month, during which the broadcaster Jenni Murray recounted being turned down for a mortgage in the 1970s for no other reason than her gender; another speaker spoke about the murder of her friend at 18 by a boyfriend; and the DJ Clara Amfo expressed her frustration at being unable to articulate her anger about female oppression without being labelled an “angry black woman”. I returned home depressed and tearful. Faced with these sobering facts, is it any wonder, really, that so many people seek refuge in arguing instead about bikini waxes?
I’ve been to enough schools to talk to young women about feminism to know that feminist “fluff” can be an easy way to open a discussion – a “gateway drug” if you will, for those unfamiliar with the topic, or put off or intimidated by the stereotypes surrounding it. It’s important that teenage girls particularly question why it is they feel pressured into certain sexual behaviours. That issue does not go away once you declare that the “full bush” is back. The impact of pornography on the way young people conduct relationships goes way beyond a few wax strips, taking in issues of consent, coercion and abuse, objectification, grooming and revenge porn. It’s all cheerful stuff.
The personal is political, the feminists of the 1970s told us, and this has morphed into a strange kind of choice feminism where women are encouraged to examine their clothing, their footwear, their grooming, their behaviour, every little choice that they make, in order to assess whether it matches up. But the big picture is now so alarmingly vivid that it obscures these trivial questions. Freedom is never so easy to imagine as when it might be taken away. Most women know that our bushes have very little to do with it.
A new Worldwide Cardiovascular Condition (CVD) Atlas portrays a divided globe the place wealthy countries are slowly freeing themselves from the yoke of CVD but in which numerous bad and middle-income countries are even now struggling.
Ischemic heart illness and stroke have been the two largest contributors to the global burden of disease in 2010, accounting for 5.2% and 4.one%, respectively, of all disability adjusted existence many years (DALYs). From 1990 to 2010 the global age-standardized mortality charges of heart illness and stroke decreased, but the absolute quantity of deaths increased from 5,211,790 to 7,029,270 deaths for heart illness and from 4,660,450 to five,874,180 deaths for stroke.
Diet program, large blood strain, and tobacco had been the three foremost chance elements throughout the world. Tobacco’s role was significantly more substantial in East Asia and Southeast Asia than in Australasia, Western Europe, and North America, in which efforts to curb smoking have been successful. Alcohol was the fifth most essential danger factor in Eastern Europe, but ranked no greater than 10th in other areas. In East Asia air pollution was the fourth most essential risk factor. Higher entire body mass index was the third most essential threat issue in Australasia, North America, Europe, Central Asia, Latin American/Caribbean, North Africa, and the Middle East.
From 1990 to 2010 Norway, Ireland, the U.K., and Israel almost cut in half the crude DALY burden per a hundred,000 individuals. “The reductions in CVD burden per capita in substantial earnings areas are extraordinary, and have occurred despite aging populations,” stated Andrew Moran, the first writer of a summary published in Worldwide Heart. “Other studies of CVD trends recommend that CVD reductions in the large revenue world are due to a mixture of reduced smoking, enhanced danger element management, and improved treatment options. Some adjustments in diet regime, life style, and broader social and economic forces could perform a position too, but are tougher to measure.”
By contrast, the nations of the former Soviet Union had huge increases of at least thirty% in their DALY burden. Said Moran, “the big contributions of alcohol and tobacco factors to underlying social and economic forces at perform.”
Weight problems, bad diet regime, and substantial blood pressure have caused increases in the burden of CVD in North Africa and the Middle East. In Kuwait the incidence of CVD DALYs improved by 28%.
In the U.S., per capita DALYs decreased by 33% in between 1990 and 2010, but the general crude DALY charge of 4485.86 per 100,000 men and women left it in the middle of the pack of higher-cash flow nations. In 2010, Brunei had the lowest fee in this group — 2321.97 per a hundred,000 — whilst Greece had the highest price — 6455.03 per 100,000.
Moran stated that the only way to lower the higher burden of CVD in significantly of the globe “will be to lengthen the CVD manage successes of the high earnings planet to lower and middle revenue nations. In some instances this may imply adapting past effective applications in other circumstances locally tailored and modern approaches will be required.”