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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