Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has claimed more elderly people than ever are being forced into hospital due to a breakdown in social care.

The elderly are bearing the brunt of social care cuts after figures showed a 66% rise in the number of over-90s being taken by ambulance to A&E, Mr Burnham told the Health+Care Conference yesterday [12 June].

Human cost of the A&E crisis

In 2011-12, 275,883 people aged over 90 were affected, up from 165,910 in 2009-10.
“This is deeply troubling new evidence of the human cost of the A&E crisis,” Mr Burnham said. “Nobody wants to think of a very frail person who needs support having no other option than to come in to A&E via ambulance.

“But 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% - as £1.8billion is cut from council care budgets.”

More integrated care for older people

In response, Health Minister Dan Poulter said the Coalition “recognises quite rightly that there is a long-term challenge in providing more integrated joined up care to look after older people.”

However, he added that much of the responsibility fell on the opposition who “failed to adequately invest in this area throughout its time in government”.