1000s of pensioners forced into hospital over spending cuts

1000s of pensioners forced into hospital over spending cuts

HomeUKSociety Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:57PM

A study by the UK’s largest charity for elderly has revealed that severe cuts to health and social care services have sent thousands of pensioners into hospital.

Age UK says community care and social care services for older people have faced a ‘double whammy’ of spending cuts over the past 10 years.

According to the research study, a slash in social care coupled with fewer district nurses and -community matrons has increasingly forced thousands of vulnerable people to A&E.

The number of district nurses fell 27.5%, from 7,851 to 5,690, and community matrons by 17.1%, 1,552 to 1,287 over the past four years.

The charity has found that spending on social care for senior citizens has dropped from £8.1billion in 2005-6 to £5.46billion in 2014-5.

Age UK says the country’s system for keeping people well at home is weak.

“Far too often frail older people are without the help they need to stay well at home and end up having to go A&E instead…Others find themselves stranded in hospital because there aren’t enough social care and community health services to allow them to be safely discharged,” Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK was quoted as saying by British media.

Unsafe care homes

Back in February, a study conducted by healthcare analysts LaingBuisson showed one in five care homes for the elderly in England fail to meet national standards for safety and care.

According to the research, 20 percent of 9,816 care homes investigated had failed to meet the primary quality measures.

Among the inadequate findings were cases of care homes being deemed unsafe, not caring enough or poorly managed.

According to the report, the findings meant 73,000 British elderly were living in care homes where service is deemed substandard.

Privatized system

Meanwhile, London-based journalist and author Chris Bambery blames privatization of permanent care as the root cause of the crisis.

“The system of permanent care has been privatized. If you have savings or assets you have to cash it in order to cover your care and increasingly pensioners cannot afford to do that, Chris Bambery told Press TV.

He believes this has in turn piled up unnecessary pressure on the National Health Service which is already reeling from spending cuts.

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