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Elderly patients on the rise

The NHS Information Centre has released figures which show that elderly people account for a bigger proportion of NHS hospital activity every year, with the number treated growing at a much faster rate over the last decade compared to any other age group.

Hospital stays in England involving patients aged 75 and over rose by two thirds in a decade compared to the overall growth rate of 38 per cent, according to the report, Hospital Episode Statistics: Admitted Patient Care – England 2009/10.

The number involving 60 to 74-year-olds also rose rapidly, by nearly 50 per cent, while the number for 0 to 14-year-olds rose by 15 per cent. Between 1999/00 and 2009/10 the average age of a patient increased from 46 to 51. During the same time period the average length of hospital stay fell by 28 per cent, from 7.8 days to 5.6 days.

[quote top=Tim Straughan, the NHS Information Centre's chief executive, said:] This report gives an insight into the changing demands placed on England's hospitals, which are getting busier every year. It is clear that the effects of England's ageing population are being felt in secondary care, with a greater number of older people passing through NHS hospital doors each year and the average age of a patient also increasing.[/quote]

Tim Strughan continued to comment “The figures also show that while more and more older people are being admitted to hospital, the average time they spend as an inpatient is falling.”

To read the full report, click here: