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Age Discrimination

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to provide specific funding for the implementation of the Government's commitment to end ageism in the NHS. [110594]

Implementation of the national service framework (NSF) for older people, including the standard to root out age discrimination, is supported by the substantial additional investment that has been provided for the national health service since the NSF's publication in 2001. In 2001–02 and 2002–03, the NHS received average annual increases of 6.3 per cent, above inflation. Cash allocations to primary care trusts in the three years from 2003–04 will provide an average increase over the three years of 30.83 per cent.Since publication of the NSF, significant progress has been made in tackling age discrimination. NHS organisations have checked their written policies to ensure they have no inappropriate age discrimination. Only a small number of age-related written policies were found, and the evidence base for them is being reviewed. A tool to help identify incidence of implicit age discrimination—by comparing, across the country, the rates of 10 hospital procedures by different age groups—has been provided and this is currently being developed further. We have funded Age Concern to run eight events on age discrimination across England later this year.