Elderly patients denied cancer treatment due to their age

Dated:

All too often elderly patients receive substandard care because of their age. Although, this is not done in the open it is becoming unfortunately common practice.

Elderly Patients NHS Care

"All older cancer patients should get physical and mental health tests so they are not unfairly written off as too old for treatment" was the key message from a report following a joint review carried out by the Macmillan Cancer Support, Age UK and Department of Health.

They assessed 5 pilot projects which were set up to look at new ideas for providing best care to the over 65’s.

The report said that if NHS performance was as it should be then another 15,000 lives a year would be saved. Older people are all too often 'Unfairly written off' for example when it comes to cancer treatment because of their age. Proper assessment to take into account the patient’s medical conditions, physical capabilities and mental well-being as well as what social support is needed are all issues that should be taken into account as a matter of course to decide how to provide the best care to the patient regardless of their age.

Head of Care Home Fees Recovery said: "We represent elderly clients who have wrongfully been denied NHS funding even though they have a primary health care need. The clients we act for are usually the sons and daughters of patients who have had to sell their homes to fund the cost of their care. These people have had to fight hard to get funding but their parents have little chance as most of time they neither have the knowledge or capacity to fight the system to protect their rights."

"Providing treatment to cancer patients regardless of their age is a basic human right. Reports like this only confirm what we already know which is that there is unfortunately an acceptance that below standard treatment and funding to the elderly is acceptable. The report should force a positive response from those responsible for elderly care."




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