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New figures reveal 'ageist' NHS

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The Telegraph has recently reported on the recent treatment statistics obtained by the former health minister, Paul Burstow. The statistics reveal dramatic variations between availability of surgery for over 75s in different parts of England.

A response to a Parliamentary question tabled by Mr Burstow show that some patients in certain areas of the country who are 75+ are 6 times as likely to be allowed surgery for cancer than in other areas. Whereas hip and knee replacements are 12 times more common in some places for the elderly than in others.

Mr Burstow has claimed this alarming disparity means that older people are subjected to an unfair postcode lottery in the NHS.

Mr Burstow has piloted for new laws outlawing age discrimination in the NHS and said these findings suggest that older people are being treated as ‘second class citizens’ in some NHS trusts.

‘The NHS should provide people of all ages with the best possible quality health care’ said Mr Burstow.

He urged for the NHS to make decisions on an individual assessment basis, not simply by looking at their age.

The Director General of Age UK, Michelle Mitchell said these figures demonstrate that many older people still face unfair, discriminatory and potentially illegal practice in the NHS.

It is no secret that people are living longer than ever before. I believe the NHS should provide a first class service for all patients, or all ages, across the country.

By Sarah Fairclough, clinical negligence graduate paralegal