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Nhs May Collapse Unless Elderly Give Up Hospital Beds – Health Minister


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Because unlicensed backstreet abortions are so much better, apart from the extra NHS costs from the complications. Never mind that providing contraceptives is incredibly cheap compared to even basic antenatal care.. but if you want to punish girls for being 'immoral' in your eyes, go ahead..

Indeed! To suggest that contraception, etc. is an inappropriate use of public funds is ludicrous. They are cheap and bring significant societal benefits, in avoiding the need to bring up children in unsuitable environments. (As an aside, in Freakonomics, the authors attribute relaxation of abortion laws in the US to a massive and sudden drop in youth crime about 16 years later, something that every politician all over the country was attributing to their own niche policy).

The big growth area is in keeping old people alive a bit longer; most of your medical care will, on average, be in the final 6 months of your life. Providing for the majority of the people the majority of the time is in fact pretty cheap - antenatal care, immunisations, family planning and physical injuries are all pretty cheap and very effective.

True. But, you have to be rather careful quoting that statistic, as it can be misleading. The majority of healthcare costs are accrued in the last 6 months because it isn't always clear that those are your last 6 month (e.g. a major illness or injury may be curable or survivable, and warrant expensive treatment). However, retrospectively, this could easily look like expensive, minor life extension.

You are right, however, in that there are a lot of very expensive treatments that do only offer minor life prolongation. This is the case, for example, in cancer treatments where oncologists are frequently clamouring to use very expensive treatments which only offer marginal prolongation of life. NICE is supposed to have produced guidelines for many of these treatments, but this type of research and review takes time, and cancer-care in particular is politically very highly charged, so you do still sometimes inconsistencies. This, however, is a relatively minor issue.

The real issue is elderly care, and in particular the arrangement of social care. When I was a junior, it was quite common to see an elderly person come in to hospital because of an illness needing hospital care (e.g. pneumonia), but it then transpires in hospital, that they actually have moderate dementia, and can't go home, because they aren't safe to be left alone, the relatives are all dead, or disinterested; and the result is that this person languishes in a hospital bed (for weeks) while social care is found. The resultant "bed blocking" is a major problem, as it prevents elective treatments being given, and new A&E admissions. Not only does it disrupt acute NHS care, but it is poor care for the affected person, who is left in a busy and confusing environment, with staff who are often not well trained or experienced in the needs of the elderly or care of dementia patients.

This has been a major problem in the NHS for as long as I have worked in it; it's come to the political frontline a few times, but I haven't seen much progress.

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As we are so obsessed with property in this country, a new type of super building is needed, where it is 150 stories tall and is just suited for caring for elderly patients long term. Each floor would have 100 beds. These should be erected in every major city. Ta dah!

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I read a report the other day saying 40% of NHS beds are occupied by someone with dementia - I'm guessing that this is part of the problem - I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of any healthcare professionals about whether this is accurate in their experience, what impact it has and what they think the solutions might be

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I read a report the other day saying 40% of NHS beds are occupied by someone with dementia - I'm guessing that this is part of the problem - I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of any healthcare professionals about whether this is accurate in their experience, what impact it has and what they think the solutions might be

I'm not surprised to read this. Because we've had a lot of it to cope with in the family, I regularly visit an alzheimer's support forum. Time and again I read of somebody's relative, often in later stages, unable to communicate, incontinent, you name it - spending literally weeks in hospital with some infection - often the sort of chest infection that would probably have carried them off not that long ago. But no, they're kept going with drugs, drips, even special fortified drinks when they no longer want to eat.

Often they deteriorate in hospital because the change of surroundings and routine confuses them terribly, plus staff don't have time to watch or help them enough, so they are likely to wander and fall and break something, which only makes matters far worse. Or they acquire another infection in hospital. And then very often they can't go home, because they now need actual nursing care with hoists, etc., or they now need 2 people to lift them, which can't be provided at home. But the family is unable to pay care home fees and social services are finding every possible reason not to, so the person stays in hospital until something is sorted out. Which can take ages, especially if there is no suitable care home place available.

And I can't see any of this changing soon. Medics are not often going to refuse to treat someone very elderly with advanced dementia, even if it would often be kinder to let Nature take its course. Many relatives want absolutely everything done to keep someone alive, no matter how bad and pitiful their state, and when it's more a case of prolonging death than prolonging life, and are indignant and furious if anyone suggests otherwise.

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this is all nonsense - the NHS is in fine fettle, I walked past a hospital staff carpark the other day andf it was full of shiny new cars, many of them rather expensive ones

that and the staff are going on strike for their pensions - must be to help the patients, what a great deserving attitude

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Guest eight

this is all nonsense - the NHS is in fine fettle, I walked past a hospital staff carpark the other day andf it was full of shiny new cars, many of them rather expensive ones

that and the staff are going on strike for their pensions - must be to help the patients, what a great deserving attitude

It cracks me up to watch the likes of Holby City on TV - none of the consultant's miserable existences ever seem to be lightened by the fact they would all be earning six figures.

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  • 5 months later...

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) will collapse unless action is taken to improve care for elderly patients outside of hospitals to free up much needed beds for other inpatients, Health Minister Norman Lamb has warned.

It's incredible that after all the continual alerts and "warnings" plus all the money spent on the subject over the years that it's STILL a problem and little or no progress seems to have been made.

This was supposed to be an issue requiring immediate solution years ago. It's the same old headlines regurgitated time and time again going back several parliaments under governments of all persuasions.

Give it another 50 years and they'll still be complaining about the same old stuff. Hey, give it another 100 years and it's still odds on.

Edited by billybong
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The single item of spending in local government is now care for elderly people.

Each person in a residential home costs around £600 a week.

Each person in a care home costs around £900 a week (more in "rich" areas)

The amount of people going into care is increasing massively.

Humans can be kept alive for a long, long time nowadays with medication but various bits of us stop working.

My grandfather is as mentally sharp as ever at 91 but his knees, hips etc mean he is not capable of living alone. So the state pays £600 a week for him to live in a small room in a care home.

My wife's gran is physically fine but has dementia. She could last another 10 years given the right medication and being fed by the staff at her home. The person she was died 6 months ago when she went from a lovely but slightly dotty elderly lady to mute over the course of a few weeks. If she did live 10 more years it would cost £500k + to inflict misery on her and her family. Living with family isn't a realistic option, she needs 24 hour care.

I don't know what the solution is but there is a clear problem with the current set up.

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It's incredible that after all the continual alerts and "warnings" plus all the money spent on the subject over the years that it's STILL a problem and little or no progress seems to have been made.

This was supposed to be an issue requiring immediate solution years ago. It's the same old headlines regurgitated time and time again going back several parliaments under governments of all persuasions.

Give it another 50 years and they'll still be complaining about the same old stuff. Hey, give it another 100 years and it's still odds on.

In my relatives case it involved a hell of a lot of work to get the elderly relatives into care homes.

If you don't have a family then who does it?

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  • 440 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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