Press release


Thursday 9 August 2012

Commenting on the Kings Fund report into older people and emergency bed use, Ros Altmann, Director-General, Saga Group says: We whole-heartedly support the findings of the Kings Fund report, it backs up what we have been saying for some months.

This country is wasting billions of pounds paying for older people to be cared for in the most expensive and often most inappropriate places – hospital wards - instead of ensuring they are looked after in their own home or a care home.
By improving the system not only would costs be slashed, but it would also be vastly more dignified and comfortable for all concerned. We need that radical overhaul of care funding, and proper integration between health and care systems for the increasing numbers of older people in the UK.

However, without a commitment to funding there is no guarantee that more at home care will be provided early on meaning more people ending up needing more costly medical care putting immense pressure on the NHS.

Saga has been urging the Government to take the need to organise care for older citizens more seriously with new ways of working that will not just rely on the NHS to pick up the pieces when things go wrong but to get community support and preventive measures working to prevent A and E admissions. At the moment, A and E is the first port of call and ends up costing far more money as well as leaving older people languishing in hospital where they should not be. They may catch infections and lose their confidence which ultimately makes things worse.

The current system is not designed for the population it now needs to serve.”