Number of elderly needing ambulances rises by 81%
3rd February 2014
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
The number of elderly citizens in the UK who are taken to A&E by ambulance has increased by 81 percent since 2009-10.
Figures from a report published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre have shown that 300,370 people over the age of 90 were rushed to A&E by ambulance in 2013, which represents a huge rise on the 165,910 recorded during the previous period studied.
Analysis suggests that more improvements could be made in the social care sector to rebalance these concerning statistics; these improvements could, for example, include the installation of latest new stair lifts in residential care homes and private properties.
The analysis points out that cuts to social care funding could be increasing the need for elderly people to be treated at hospital.
Age UK Charity Director discusses figures
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, told the Guardian, "It is important that older people receive the treatment and care they need and sometimes this means going to hospital. However, we know that, in some cases, being admitted to hospital is the consequence of not getting good quality care at home.
"Access to high quality social care is increasingly difficult as many vital services are withdrawn or reduced as a result of the current crisis in care.
"Smarter thinking about how to prevent people reaching crisis point and by meeting their needs will not only improve the experience and outcomes for patients but also has the potential to save money.
"The core of the problem is that funding for social care has failed and is still failing to keep up with growing demand. Legislative reform is vital but pointless unless sufficient funding is in place."
There have been calls by some experts to implement more up-to-date equipment in nursing homes, day centres and within other social care service settings. It is thought that the carefully considered installation of new walk in baths for the elderly and similar mobility aids could decrease the number of elderly people visiting A&E with almost immediate effect.
Image Credit: Rolf Larsen (flickr.com)