Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow's figures reveal lives of elderly put at risk by postcode lottery
MP Paul Burstow has uncovered figures suggesting elderly people are being put at risk by a postcode lottery.
Statistics obtained by the Sutton and Cheam MP suggest that age discrimination is rife in the NHS with elderly people often missing out on potentially life-saving treatment just because of where they live.
Access to standard operations, for those aged 75 and older, varies dramatically across the country, the figures reveal.
The Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust ranked in the top 300 for six standard surgical procedures.
This includes hip replacements – a procedure which Sutton’s elderly are up to three times more likely to receive than those living in the worst areas.
However, in cases of colorectal excision, knee replacement, inguinal hernia repair and colostomy surgeries, the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust performed below the national average.
Older patients in some areas would be six times more likely to receive breast surgery than others.
Mr Burstow said: “These figures reveal a postcode lottery of age discrimination. Where older people can benefit from surgery – it is unacceptable that their chance of receiving it could depend on where they live.
"Sutton’s Primary Care Trust has a lot to be proud of but these figures reveal that progress must still be made to protect access to healthcare for older patients in our local area."
The figures were obtained in response to a Parliamentary question tabled by Mr Burstow.
He has also recently edited a new report arguing that the government must do more to prepare for the aging population.
The report, Giving Older People a Voice, calls for an older people’s commissioner to challenge ageism and represent the interests of older people in England.
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