Help the Aged: Geriatricians say NHS is institutionally ageist

Almost half of doctors specialising in the care of older people believe the NHS is institutionally racist, a survey revealed today.

The Help the Aged poll found two-thirds of geriatricians agreed that older people were less likely to have their symptoms fully investigated than younger people, while 72% said older people were less likely to be considered for and referred on for essential treatments.

The charity’s poll of members of the British Geriatrics Society comes with the government due to introduce legislation this year banning unjustifiable discrimination against older people in the provision of goods and services.

However, ministers have set up a working group examining the impact of the ban on health and social care, which is not due to report until summer 2010.

Help the Aged has said this means the ban will not be implemented in the care sectors in this parliament, breaching a 2005 Labour manifesto commitment.

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