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Accident and Emergency Departments: Older People

Question for Department of Health

UIN 59971, tabled on 13 January 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that frail or elderly people are not disproportionately affected by winter pressures on accident and emergency services.

Answered on

23 January 2017

We recognise that the frail and elderly are particularly vulnerable during this time of year and we are determined to ensure that the National Health Service is focused on delivering for these patients.

Under the seasonal flu immunisation programme, the flu vaccine is offered to everyone over the age of 65 to help them keep well during the winter. Already over 69% of people aged over 65 have received the flu vaccination.

In October 2016, NHS England and Public Health England launched ‘Stay Well This Winter’, a major prevention and advice campaign to encourage people to stay well over winter and access the most appropriate services at the right time.

In addition, the establishment of the Better Care Fund (BCF), to better manage care for the elderly and those with complex health and care needs, will help join up health and care services to improve care and reduce accident and emergency admissions. In 2016/17, the BCF has increased to a mandated minimum of £3.9 billion and local areas have pooled more, taking the total to approaching £6 billion.