The British Medical Association has pledged support for the Age
Concern campaign to protect benefits and pensions of older and
disabled people who have to stay in hospital for longer than a
The doctors passed a motion calling on the government to
“urgently review” the ‘hospital downrating rules’ where
older and disabled people have their state pension or benefits
reduced if hospitalised in excess of four to six weeks.
Dr Andrew Dearden, chairperson of the BMA’s community care
committee, said: “The fact that older people have their benefits
reduced when they are in an NHS bed is tantamount to them being
charged for its use.”
In September last year, 31,500 older people were subject to a
reduction in their pension.