freephone 0800 862 0373
Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Age discrimination in the NHS denies elderly patients lifesaving surgery

Published on 15/10/2012

The NHS has been denying people surgery for cancer, hernia repairs and joint replacements because of their age, according to a damning new report.


Elderly people are being denied joint replacement surgery because of their age

A study by the Royal College of Surgeons, Age UK and communications consultancy MHP Health Mandate has accused the NHS of age discrimination over lifesaving surgery.

It urges doctors and surgeons to stop using chronological age to assess suitability for a procedure and instead use a ‘biological age’ or their overall health to make a decision.

The report details the variation in age group in patterns of treatment for eight types of surgery. It shows that while people’s health needs increase as they grow older, rates of planned surgery for some conditions among older people steadily decline.

For example, whilst the incidence of breast cancer is highest in women aged 85 and over, surgery peaks among those in their mid-60s and declines sharply from 70.

In addition, the rate of elective knee replacement and hip replacement surgery for patients in their late 70s and over has dropped sharply and consistently between 2008 and 2011, despite life expectancy for men and women being 78 and 82 respectively.

The report argues that growing life expectancy and the increasingly good health of senior citizens make birth date alone redundant as a deciding factor.

Professor Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "The gap between the increasing health need and access to surgery means many older people are missing out on potentially lifesaving treatment."

Michelle Mitchell of Age UK added that age alone gives little indication as to people’s health. She said: “Yet in the past, too many medical decisions we believe have been made on age alone with informal ‘cut-offs’ imposed so that people over a certain age were denied treatment.

“We would like surgeons and other health professionals to read this report carefully and examine what they can do to ensure that age discrimination is eradicated from the NHS, as legislation now demands.”

Joint replacements appear to be increasingly restricted as the NHS rations treatments in an attempt to save £20bn by 2015. Experts warn that financial pressure could mean older people are disproportionately affected by this trend in coming years.

For fast access to treatment for cancer, hernia repairs and joint replacements regardless of your age, compare medical insurance policies online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012


Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
Age discrimination in the NHS denies elderly patients lifesaving surgeryThe NHS has been denying people surgery for cancer, hernia repairs and joint replacements because of their age, according to a damning new r    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile
 

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Excellent service. Explained everything in detail and really helped to find the right insurance best suited to my needs - which wasn't necessarily the most expensive. 

Review centre member

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member

The advisor was incredibly helpful and fully explained the differences between the policies. I really liked the fact that I was put under no pressure.

Review centre member
 
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...