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Wednesday 26th June 2019

Elderly will be able to 'sue' the NHS

12th June 2012

Care Minister Paul Burstow has said elderly patients will be able to sue the health service if they experience discrimination because of age.


He said that from October this year older patients who have been refused care as a result of their age can sue the NHS.

The decision, which covers hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland, comes after a consultation on the subject by the Home Office.

According to a recent investigation by the King's Fund, conditions which affected older patients, such as depression and incontinence, were not always being addressed by the NHS.

The Health Service Ombudsman said last year that the NHS was "failing to meet even the most basic standards of care" for people aged over 65.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK, said: "We hope the new law which will apply to the NHS, social care and other services will prevent older people being denied proper treatment because of their age."

"It sends a clear message to service providers that discrimination law will in future also protect older people."

The decision means a patient's age will not prevent them having treatment and there should be "an onus to consider the wellbeing and dignity of older people".


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