News in brief
The UK’s National Health Service often denies the mental health treatments to patients older than 65 that it offers to younger people, the government’s healthcare regulator has said.
The Healthcare Commission, which called for urgent attention to redress the matter, found that four out of six regional mental health trusts that it studied were treating patients based on their age rather than their medical needs.
“Older people were denied access to the full range of mental health services that are available to younger adults,” the commission said in a report.
The report, Equality in Later Life, contained an estimate that 40% of elderly people visiting their general practitioner have some form of mental health problem (www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5077831/Older-people-with-mental-health-problems-discriminated-against-by-NHS.html and www.cqc.org.uk/publications.cfm?fde_id=11810).
The United Kingdom’s public healthcare system should take a lead from the private sector and do more to cut staff absence through ill health, a policy institute has said.
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