scurvy
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Deadly scurvy killed sailors.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the huge rise in cases of Victorian illness scurvy, along with the tripling of hospital admissions for malnutrition since 2010, was 'a shameful indictment on a decade of the Tories'.

Cases of scurvy - a widespread illness in Victorian times - have more than doubled in a decade.

NHS Digital statistics also reveal hospital admissions for malnutrition have tripled since the Conservatives came to power in the 2010 election.

The increases coincide with soaring numbers of people relying on food banks in the wake of austerity policies.

In 2010-11, 61,000 people needed food handouts but a decade on this figure now stands at 2.5 million.

Hospitals reported cases of scurvy - a vitamin C deficiency that can cause fatigue, bruised skin, swelling of the limbs and tooth loss - rising from 82 in 2010-11 to 171 in 2020-21.

In rare instances it can cause potentially fatal infections if left untreated. The condition notoriously killed millions of sailors from the 14th to 19th centuries.

NHS Digital also revealed 10,109 cases of malnutrition - which was widespread among the poor in the 19th century - in 2020-21, up from 4,657 in 2010-11.

Both illnesses were most common in the over-60s but there was also a rise in children needing care.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "This is a shameful indictment on a decade of the Tories.

"Poverty is driving greater illness and illness also often traps people in poverty.

"The Government's promises to 'level up' are exposed as utterly hollow. While deprivation worsens, the Tories refuse to tackle hunger in society."