How an ageing population is putting an increased strain on the NHS

By Swindon Link - 16 March 2023


The UK currently has an ever-increasing ageing population, which is putting our NHS under immense pressure. To keep up with this growing rate, the health service must adapt in order to take thorough care of the elderly, moving forward with a proactive approach to ensure everyone is taken care of.

We’re growing older!

People are now living longer, which means there will likely be a need for increased health and social care services as the ageing population continues to increase.

By 2040, nearly one in seven people are projected to be aged over 75. Ageing often means the risk of illness development, sickness, and frail bones, which will impact our overall workforce with regards to productivity and economic success if our population is predominantly older individuals.

How society will need to adapt

To cater for the elderly and adapt to an older population, our society will need to change to take good care of our citizens.

For instance, the government will need to make small changes to older people’s homes, such as installing handrails, accessible showers and ramps for wheelchairs to ensure they feel comfortable in their own homes.

The government will need to work closely with both the NHS and social care providers to carry out regular home checks, so that the home environments for elderly people are safe and have high-quality equipment available.

Support should also be available for those managing long-term health conditions and living with disabilities. Personalised health services will benefit those greatly who need them most, helping them to manage their health and ensuring they have the tools to deal with their illness specifically.

Why this is having a negative result on the NHS

An ageing population presents a great challenge to the NHS. The majority of bed occupiers in hospitals are aged over 80,  yet waiting times for other patients are growing by the minute.

The entire population are having to wait for their treatments due to a lack of beds in our hospitals. Increasing amounts of staff are required to cater for our elderly, meaning illnesses and diseases are being missed due to a lack of GP appointments available.

Overall, waiting times for treatment are rapidly growing too, putting immense strain on both patients and doctors. Perhaps you’ve even experienced poor medical care as a result of NHS medical negligence, in which case, you should seek legal advice.

The NHS now needs to change to suit our ever-changing population to cater to the needs of our entire society. This is to ensure the continuation of effective and efficient care for those who need it most.

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