From Silver voices
(too old to reply)
Vicky Ayech
2020-10-10 08:48:00 UTC
This applies to treatment of the disabled too :(



The Royal College of Surgeons has deflated Government claims that the
NHS can restore surgery to pre-pandemic levels quickly, (by this month
the target was for the NHS to be carrying out 90% of routine surgical
procedures compared to October 2019). There are currently two million
people waiting longer than 18 weeks for routine operations like hip
and knees surgery, with 111,000 waiting more than a year. The number
of people waiting for cancer diagnosis tests is ten times higher than
this time last year, and the number of urgent referrals is down 15%.
Many people are being diagnosed too late for effective treatment.

In a survey of 1000 of their members, the Surgeons found:
Only 14% were now able to treat the same number of patients as
before the pandemic 48% said planned operations were currently running
at just 50-80% of 2019 levels
The Royal College of Surgeons stated that “as the virus becomes more
prevalent again, there is a real risk of a tsunami of cancelled
operations” and that “this is a national crisis requiring a truly
national effort across all hospitals”. At the end of August, following
a survey of members, Silver Voices called for an emergency action plan
to reduce all waiting lists to at least the levels applying before the
lockdown. The Government must now act, not talk.

With the second wave in mind, it is very worrying that the survey also
found that:
22% of surgeons were unable to access hubs which keep surgical
patients separate from Covid-19 patients, with particular concerns in
Wales, Northern Ireland and North-East England 59% of surgeons
reported that staff without symptoms were not being routinely tested,
to keep the virus out of surgical wards! Will we again see large
numbers of people infected with Covid-19 inside hopitals?
Face to Face Visits With GPs

We have also called for the absolute right of older patients to have a
face to face appointment with their GP if they want one. Good progress
on this, with new NHS England advice to GP surgeries (Guidance and
Standard Operating Procedures Version 3.4) stating “practices should
be open for the delivery of face to face care”. This document should
be quoted if there are difficulties locally.

Ageism in Hospitals

We have consistently pointed out the serious age discrimination in
access to NHS services during the pandemic. The office received a
timely reminder from Silver Voices member, Vivien, that age
discrimination is also a longstanding problem in hospital care in
general. Here is her personal story in response to an earlier briefing
about care homes:

“It may be that there is a larger issue within hospitals as well as
care homes. Until February this year, my mother was living at home,
95 years old, with dementia and after having a fall, was taken to
hospital (with threats of having to have her sectioned if she
continued to refuse to go). She was placed in an observation ward to
begin with and the doctor called me when I was in a shop to say that
he had spoken to her and she had told him her wishes were that she
would accept a DNR, which he explained meant that if she had a heart
attack while with them, they would not revive her. He mentioned
nothing about stopping her pills prior to any heart attack as part of

The next day, she had seriously deteriorated and the doctors told me
that they had stopped her medications as there was “little that they
could do for her”, however, the main reason she had been taken to
hospital was the fall and the fact that her blood sugar had dropped
very low and she needed to have it increased. My mother had various
underlying issues which she was tolerating, although the decision to
stop her normal meds seems much more to be about the value judgement
of the doctors that her life was not worth living.

When I arrived to speak to her, she had deteriorated very far but did
tell me that she did not wish to die then, but it was too late to
restart her meds and she later had a heart attack and died the next
day. Had her blood sugars raised in hospital, she may well have been
able to go home. She was not coping well, but it was her choice to
live her life as she did and to die at home but this decision was
taken out of her hands by the value judgement that such an elderly
life was not worth living. She had been intending to reach 100 years
of age.

It seems unreasonable that medics can make life and death decisions
based on their value judgement. Elderly and disabled people have made
and contributed to society and paid national insurance for medical
care, among other things, for a large part of their lives, and if a
private medical company behaved like that, they would not be in

Thanks Vivien.

More Creeping Privatisation

Our briefing 53/20 reported on the underhand ways privatisation is
creeping into the NHS, such as eye infections being treated under
contract by Specsavers. Our member, Betty, who is 86, was advised by
her optician who supplies her hearing aid that her ears were blocked
and needed syringing. However, her GP surgery has stopped providing a
syringing service. So, her alternative is to spend £70 and wait for
three weeks for a private appointment with Specsavers. Needless to
say, Betty is angry: “I have witnessed the birth of the NHS…..its care
and services are supposed to be free at the point of delivery and
based on clinical need, not the ability to pay. We do not deserve such
neglect or be used as cash cows!”

Betty also points out that many footcare services are no longer
available on the NHS.

All these developments are taking place under the radar, without
public scrutiny or comment. Except by Silver Voices!

10 October 2020
2020-10-11 14:05:07 UTC
Post by Vicky Ayech
She was placed in an observation ward to
begin with and the doctor called me when I was in a shop to say that
he had spoken to her and she had told him her wishes were that she
would accept a DNR, which he explained meant that if she had a heart
attack while with them, they would not revive her.
This needed to be challenged immediately as it is clear later in the
story that was not the woman's wishes. Having overheard a conversation
when I was in hospital (briefly as previously reported) I am worried
that a potentially ill and confused person is even being asked about DNR
- they are not mentally well enough to understand.
Kosmo Richard W