accessibility & help

Response to Health Committee Report

23 July 2013

For further information contact:
Lucy Keating 020 7877 7095 /
On call mobile: 0771 0391703

The British Red Cross welcomes the report by the Health Committee on Urgent and emergency services, and shares its concern about the treatment on offer to elderly people.

Mike Adamson, Managing Director said:

“We share the committee’s concern that existing services are fragmented, with little in the way of joined up services.

“In our work we regularly meet patients who have turned up at A&E because they don’t know where else to go. Our hospital-based teams help prevent unnecessary admissions by assisting people with non-medical needs to get home and offering short term support in the days after discharge.

“As part of our care in the home work we signpost people to relevant longer-term services in their area, because they are often difficult to find. We are finding that, in the climate of cuts, the number of services to refer people to, is diminishing. All of these factors can leave our beneficiaries isolated and struggling.

“A lack of support for people with low-level needs means many people’s situation quickly develops into a crisis. Unless the government makes preventative care for older people priority, demand and pressure on the NHS will only increase.”


The Red Cross assisted discharge services steps in when statutory services can not.

The service helps those people who do not have family or friends around to take care of them and who would otherwise be stuck in hospital until social services and hospital transport can be arranged.

This service also gives hospital staff the confidence to discharge patients, knowing they will be safe and receive the care they need when they leave.

As the UK population ages and health demands become more complex it is essential that the government put in place an effective, joined-up health and social care service.

Preventative care is central to the future health and wellbeing of older people and with low level support with basic tasks in the early stages of need  must be made available to all.

Unless the government makes care for older people priority, demand and pressure on the NHS will only increase.


For spokespersons and case studies contact: Lucy Keating 0207 877 7095 or 07710 391703 or email

For more information about the British Red Cross’s Independent living services click here:

Notes to editors
• The British Red Cross offers a range of services as part of its Independent Living work, including care in the home and re-ablement services a assisted discharge services
• The British Red Cross’s Deloitte Report from November 2012 found that every £1 spent on preventative support brought a saving of £1.50 to commissioners.

British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.

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