Official NHS Statistics reveal hugely disproportionate increase in the numbers of elderly people arriving at A&E in ambulances in the first two years of this Government, while £1.8 billion is cut from council care budgets.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, speaking at Health Questions in the Commons, raised the issue of elderly people bearing the brunt of the A&E crisis:
“This is deeply troubling new evidence of the human cost of the A&E crisis. Nobody wants to think of a very frail and elderly person who needs support having no other option that to come in to A&E via ambulance.
“But they are in increasing numbers. There has been a massive increase in the numbers of people aged over 90 going into A&E by ambulance – up by over 100,000, an increase of 66 per cent - as £1.8 billion is cut from council care budgets.
“That is why Labour has said we would invest £1.2 billion of the NHS underspend, which Jeremy Hunt has handed back to the Treasury, over the next two years to ease the crisis in social care tackling a root cause of the pressure on A&E. For older people this could make a huge difference by enabling them to stay in their own homes for longer and providing the support they need to return home after hospital.
“By contrast, the Government have no answer. This is an appalling failure and sign of something seriously wrong in the way we care for older people.
“The crisis in A&E proves that you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS.”