WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
February 20 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Older people are enduring chronic pain from lack of NHS care

Older people are enduring chronic pain from lack of NHS care

Pic: Patrick Maguire
Red Cell: Patrick Maguire from Proof magazine, issue 4

The lack of support and care provided by the NHS to older people is leading to hundreds of thousands enduring chronic pain and anxiety due to unmet support needs. The decline in support has left the NHS in a constant crisis mode with increasing numbers of ambulances queuing outside A&E departments.

Older people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure are struggling with basic everyday tasks due to the lack of support. Many struggle with getting out of bed, dressing and eating.

This crisis is predicted to reach its peak this winter with the number of elderly people unnecessarily stuck in hospital due to the lack of basic social care increasing. There has been no action taken at present to prevent these unnecessary situations.

An Age UK report has highlighted that this situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, with older people receiving care being forced to manage their health conditions at home without the necessary support. The report estimated that this effected over 12% of people over 50 in the UK, equating to 2.6 million people.

Ruthe Isden, the head of health and social care influencing at Age UK, claims there has always been a problem with workforce vacancies but this is increasingly escalating. It is estimated that there are around 165,000 vacancies in social care, particularly in roles that provide home care.

‘The levels of excess mortality and of morbidity [and] suffering that we’re seeing in the system as a consequence means that this is now a healthcare crisis which is every bit as bad and important as the pandemic,’stated  Prof Adam Gordon, the president of the British Geriatrics Society.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson claimed that they are improving the situation for the elderly by expanding community teams and virtual wards. It is further claimed that £200m will be invested to free up hospital beds and reduce the pressure on A&E.