Elderly A&E crisis

Wigan Infirmary Accident & Emergency department
Wigan Infirmary Accident & Emergency department
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WIGAN Infirmary could be overwhelmed by avoidable emergency admissions to hospital among the elderly, unless action is taken regulators say.

Data collected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) showed 530,000 over-65s were admitted in England as an emergency for a preventable cause last year.

This represents an increase of more than 40 per cent since 2007-8.

Avoidable admissions are caused by conditions such as dehydration or infections which could have been prevented with better care.

In total, one in 10 of all over-75s and a fifth of the over-90s were admitted for one of these reasons.

CQC chief executive David Behan said the problem needed “quickly” addressing.

“GPs, care homes, home care agencies, community health services and hospitals must plan effectively to make sure our older and more vulnerable people are cared for in the way they deserve.”

Emergency admissions are one of the main reasons why A&E units have been struggling in recent years.

Patients who need to be admitted take much longer to attend to, compared with people who can be seen and treated in A&E.

The CQC has recruited three chief inspectors – covering hospitals, GPs and hospitals – and introduced tougher checks.