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NHS ‘failing to provide basic care’

15th August 2008

New research suggests the healthcare system in England is failing to provide older patients with basic care.

The study published on bmj.com claims 38 per cent of the care recommended for older adults is not received, while private healthcare and the NHS are not providing good enough basic care.

Researchers led by the University of East Anglia assessed whether effective healthcare interventions were being received by patients with serious health conditions over the age of 50.

It involved 8,688 patients with a number of different health conditions, including depression, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and stroke.

The study used a combination of face-to-face interviews, questionnaires and quality-of-care indicators endorsed by medical panels to reach its findings.

“Results showed huge variations by health condition in whether or not people with particular health conditions received the appropriate intervention or care they should”, the BMJ said.

It also found less care was provided for geriatric conditions like falls, vision and hearing problems and osteoporosis compared to general medical conditions.

Earlier this week, Age Concern launched a national campaign with the goal of improving the lives of older people with depression, noting more than two million people over the age of 65 suffer from the conditions.

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