How can pharma help the NHS to support older people better?

With social care in crisis and hospital wards at breaking point, redesigning health and care services for older people has never been more important for the sustainability of the NHS. But how is the health service responding to the challenge, and how will it affect the way pharma works with NHS in the future? Wilmington Healthcare’s Oli Hudson explores an age-old issue.

It is no secret that caring for older people is the mainstay of NHS business. Before the pandemic, around two-thirds of all hospital beds were occupied by people over 65, many with multiple and complex health conditions, aggravated by frailty. Treating these age groups accounted for more than two-fifths of all NHS spending back then. It is likely to be higher still today.

Wilmington Healthcare’s recent State of the Nation report, meanwhile, shows that older age groups bore the brunt of the closure of hospital services during the pandemic: adult patients in the 55 and over age bands experienced 2.5 million fewer spells of inpatient care in 2020-21 compared to the previous year, with over 85s seeing over a million fewer episodes alone.

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