Older people and rubbish NHS treatment ?

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  • Older people and rubbish NHS treatment ?
  • Midnighthour

    From BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7850881.stm

    “The survey of just over 200 doctors showed that two-thirds think older people are less likely to have their symptoms fully investigated.
    Of those polled, 72% said older people were less likely to be considered and referred on for essential treatments.
    And more than half the doctors said they themselves would be worried about how the NHS would treat them in old age.”

    Err, won’t those worried doctors be at least some of those who are not treating people properly now?

    In my experience yes they are – as a Community mental Health team we have many of clients discharged from hospital before been medically fit – they are sent home usually with no notification to other health and social care agencies – so support systems can be re-started.

    At the other side of thinks any behaviour or unusual symptoms tend to be attributed to to mental health & more often then Dementia – without any other supporting clinical evidence & were expected to manage.

    The NHS is undoubtedly institutionally ageist and has very discriminatory attitudes towards older people with mental health problems (remember a strategic meeting with commissioners and senior mangers at a PCT – the majority got up & left when the last agenda item was older peoples mental health)


    As someone who works for the NHS and has recently had to use the NHS for an operation – I would say the stats are actually the other way round.

    I think the NHS actually serves the elderly and neglects the younger folk!

    Based on my experience I think the NHS is a shower of shit when it comes to treating younger active people who have injuries/wear and tear or other problems which make them unable to excercise. I would expect that breakneackspeed also has a point about mental health issues too. Its taken me a year and a half to get treatment after going to see a dr and saying I couldnt ride my bike any more because of hip pain, a condition which will have got much worse in that time and means I will most likely never ride a bike again, I’m just hoping to be able to live in pain free inactivity now thanks to their shocking level of delay. I expect when I get fat and have other health issues though they’ll treat them much quicker.

    not that I’m bitter or anything!!


    I totally agree….I ended up paying private for an op that I was repeatedly refused due to …well basically a lack of knowledge regarding sports injuries.

    Once I’d offered to pay privately for a diagnosis ( which was almost straight away) I sourced a private surgeon who had an NHS list.

    I came round from the OP on an ortho ward surrounded by old fellas having hip ops etc, another young lad and myself were totally overlooked, ward rounds, physio, occupational therapy, and even transport home were not even offered.

    Now bearing in mind I live on my own ( a building site at the mo) and all my family live in NZ….it might have been nice if they had at least offered some of the above.

    I remember caring for an old boy who was on the ward…. blind and struggling to find his food let alone eat it. They only really became aware of my predicament when I threw my holdall over my back and walked out of the ward struggling and on crutches.

    In not just the direct care & treatment of older people where the discrimination lays – it’s the resourcing and funding services – for example many services have an upper age limit of 65 yrs – In my own area crisis resolution services & assertive outreach will not provide a service to older people – there are very few targets set around older peoples service delivery (a good thing) – however it means that trusts & service only focus on areas that are targeted – Older people tend to be moved more from ward to ward and discharged early on the basis that they are less likely to complain or sue


    brack – Member

    ————– I sourced a private surgeon who had an NHS list.

    I came round from the OP on an ortho ward surrounded by old fellas having hip ops etc, another young lad and myself were totally overlooked, ward rounds, physio, occupational therapy, and even transport home were not even offered.———

    Because you were private – the NHS Drs physios etc you saw are not a part of the medical team looking after you – only the one you pay is. Same for transport and other services. Your private surgeons fault for not arranging these things for you but I guess you wouldnt have like the cost.


    A private surgeon…..

    who had an

    ……..NHS list.



    Breakneckspeed, where do you work? I’m part of and Old Age Mental Health Team and have exactly the same issues as you have raised. All the Government rhetoric about supporting and caring for the elderly is lip service in my opinion. Continual under resourcing of services for over 65s or non existence of services in the first place. It drives me bananas as it’s been like this for the 5 years I’ve been working with this client group. Client groups such as children and learning disabilities are funded far better, an average LD care package is £1500 in our Local Authority. At present the cap on care packages for over 65s is £300.


    A friend of mine fairly young waited over 18 months for a serious op, then went private (treated on a loan out of desperation) as she was throwing up each day and in pain – only to find it was the same surgeon doing the same job in both locations. Service much faster in the private sector as op was done in a fortnight. I guess he had a lot of time going spare and nothing much that needed doing…

    Jojo – I work in Bradford West Yoks
    I’ve worked in Older Peoples mental health for 15 years and it gets no better – loads of hot air from the ‘center’ which usually has no money attached bur plenty of extra papaerwork – taking me a way from direct client contact – I’ve heard to day that the Dementia Stratergy is to be delayed further (should have been published in Nov.) because of “resource implcations” – so 700,000 people have continue struggling on


    Brack – if your were being treated privately you are private – simple as. Even if he tacked your private op onto an NHS list

    “I came round from the OP on an ortho ward surrounded by old fellas having hip ops etc”

    I’m not old!!

    I came round from my hip op in a recovery room wondering what that really fast bleeping was behind me and why everyone was stood round looking at the screen behind me. Once the nice lady had given me the morphine I didnt really care though. Turns out I was tachicardic.


    No I paid privately to get my ailment/injury assessed.


    Under the advice of the sports consultant who diagnosed me…sourced the ‘best’ surgeon to perform the op.

    He is a private surgeon – who performs certain cases for the NHS.

    I did not pay for my surgery – it was on the NHS.

    I paid privately for my diagnosis.

    ‘I found a private surgeon who had an NHS list.’


    Elderly Care in the NHS is a cinderella service… though I’m less inclined to blame completely overrun front-line staff than a society which – quite simply – doesn’t give a sh1Te.

    It’s the WWII generation who are currently “bed-blocking” (to use that lovely term) – a better argument for auxillary-nursing-as-national-service, I cannot imagine. They did their bit, after all.

    Noteeth RN.

    Noteeth – while I whole agree with your sentiment – indeed I love the idea – but the reality is Elderly Care is a very specialist area the needs well trained staff – it also needs people who have a desire to work in that field – rather then those are ‘forced’ to work in that area – certainly the private sector suffers with this as care home end to pay low wages or have low staffing levels as –social service will not fund care at a realistic rate.

    The image of Elderly care is that it hard, smelly unskilled worked and not a ‘sexy’ area to work


    [professional hat on]

    Breakneckspeed, I agree entirely – not least as regards the proper care of people who have complex needs.

    It’s just the anger finding its way out… 🙂

    [/professional hat on]

    I’m so there with you Noteeth – I can get quite Passionate about this


    Indeed – depressing that Graham Pink would still have much to write about.

    Have to say (and this is not to underplay what hard work it can be) rarely has any area of healthcare ever proved as satisfying as having the time to sit down and talk to patients on elderly care wards. In short, the exact polar opposite of anything I ever felt about Patricia Hewitt. 😈

    “We were not only neglecting them, we were abusing them – unintentionally, of course,” he says. “When an elderly lady has to defecate in her bed and lie there in her own excrement for half-an-hour, this is appalling, sickening to me – and it certainly was to her.

    Can’t beleve this was written 15 years ago – as a student Nurse Graham Pink was a hero – fighting the good fight – so sad that things have not really changed

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