Age UK response to NCEPOD report
Published on 11 November 2010 12:30 AM
In response to the report ‘An Age Old Problem' by NCEPOD, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
'This report is a stark reminder that far too often older people in the UK receive second or even third rate care in hospital, condemning many of them to an early death.
'Despite the over 65s being the largest cohort of NHS patients, clearly our healthcare system is failing to meet the needs of an ageing population and this situation is only set to deteriorate further as life expectancy continues to increase.
'Yet this comes as no surprise considering services which benefit the over 65s are often under-funded and seemingly a low priority for commissioners. Healthcare professionals are also increasingly expected to specialise in certain areas of care, often poorly equipping them to deal with the many older people living with multiple conditions and frailty.
'It is very disappointing to see malnutrition continues to cast a dark shadow over the care of older people in hospital. Through the ‘Hungry to Be Heard' campaign, Age UK has raised the issue of poor nutritional standards for older people in our hospitals time and again, yet progress on this relatively straightforward problem remains stubbornly static.
'Ageist attitudes cannot be allowed to distort the standard of care people in later life receive. Age UK is calling for a whole system review of the impact of ageing on the NHS, including the need to equip the workforce with the skills to deliver effective care for older people. Inevitably, the majority of us rely on the NHS more at the beginning and later stages of our lives and it is vital the system reflects this need.'
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Notes to Editors
- This comment relates to the NHS in England
- Age UK works in partnership with Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI. For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562, and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.
Media contact: Vicky Smith
Tel: 020 8765 7515
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