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National report sheds new light on the health and care of older people

June 26, 2014

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional figures are available

New official statistics are published today to broaden insight into the health and care of people aged 65 or over in England.

Key points according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) included in today's report, Focus on the Health and Care of Older People, June 2014, show that, in England:

  • People aged 65 or over account for one in six of the population (17 per cent in 2012) but one in two hospital bed days2 (54 per cent). People aged 85 or over account for one in 44 of the population (two per cent in 2012) and one in six hospital bed days2 (18 per cent).
  • Over the last 20 years3, the total number of bed days has decreased in every age group apart from those aged 85 or over, where the number has increased by a tenth.
  • Over the last 20 years3 the total number of day cases has increased for all age groups. The biggest rise was for those aged 85 or over, where there has been a ten fold increase. 
  • Over seven in ten people aged 65 or over are obese or overweight (this is a similar proportion to those aged 45 or over).
  • Eight in ten people aged 85 or over (77 per cent) accessed at least one of inpatient, outpatient, or A&E services in 2012-13, and this was almost seven in ten (65 per cent) for those aged 65 or over. Four in ten people under 65 years (41 per cent) used at least one of inpatient, outpatient, or A&E services.
  • One in five people aged 85 or over (20 per cent) used all three of A&E, inpatient and outpatient services in 2012-13, for those aged 65 or over this was one in eight (12 per cent) and for those under 65 years this was one in 24 people (four per cent).
  • Two in three admissions to hospital for people aged 85 or over (65 per cent) were through emergency channels but for those under 65 years this was one in three (32 per cent).
  • About 600 million (60 per cent) of the one billion drug items dispensed in the community in 2013 were for people aged 65 or over.

Today's report aims to provide a wider picture of older people's health and lifestyle and pulls together data on hospital activity, mental health, social care, prescribing, NHS workforce, census data and life expectancy.

The new report also explores use of health and social care services among older people and gives insight into the impact an ageing population has on these services and how this compares to previous generations.

HSCIC Lead Clinician Martin Severs said: "Today's report gives fresh insight, with original analysis, into the typical profile of an older person in England today. By looking at change over time our report provides a broad understanding of an ageing population and the implications this group may have for health and care services.

"As a geriatrician for almost 30 years I have seen huge changes in the health and care of older people and health and care activity for this group. We hope that a better understanding of the ageing population could help shape a better future for this group."

The full report can be accessed at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/opfocusjun14  

HSCIC today publishes fact sheets on individual subject areas to help journalists understand areas of its work. These are available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/news-and-events

ENDS


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Bed days are defined as Finished Consultant Episode (FCE) bed days, this is the sum of individual episode durations (days spent in hospital under the care of an individual consultant) from hospital episodes which ended within the financial year. These statistics do not include bed days where the episode was unfinished at the end of the financial year. This field is different to the 'Bed days' field used in publications prior to 2008-09 which included an estimation of bed days from unfinished episodes.

3. Reference to 'over the past 20 years' in this press release refers to the 20 years between 1992-93 and 2012-13.

4. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

5. For media enquiries please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or 0300 303 3888.

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