Hackney hospital alarm on older people

A dramatic rise in hospital admissions in the London Borough of
Hackney has led to concerns that some older people are being
discharged too early.

Mary Cannon, of Age Concern Hackney, said there was a “strong
feeling” locally that some older people were being discharged from
hospital too quickly, and not being given a proper choice about the
form of care in the community they received.

Hackney has been pioneering the development of intermediate care to
rehabilitate older people discharged from hospital since the late
1990s. But the introduction of fines, combined with a 13 per cent
surge in the past year in admissions to the borough’s only
hospital, Homerton, has put extra pressure on the system.

“People may be in hospital, which is not the best place for them,
but will then be moved somewhere they maybe don’t like and don’t
want to be,” Cannon said. “We need to shape care around the
individual’s needs at whatever stage they are at.”

Hackney Council’s Michelle Quinn admitted the system was under
pressure but felt it was important to get older people out of
hospital as quickly as possible.

“If they stay in hospital longer than 10 days you start losing
living skills,” she said.

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