More than 3.5m people aged over 50 years old had some hospital treatment cancelled between February and May, according to new figures.
The figures are part of new report produced by researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which shows that access to health care services for the over 50s was hugely disrupted during the early stage of the pandemic.
The report also claims almost three-quarters of those who reported needing community health and social care, did not get it.
More than a third of those who needed these services did not seek help in the first place, with an additional 41% of would-be users unable to access the service after contacting it.
And the report concludes that those living in the most deprived areas were also more likely to be affected.
Among those who tried to access community and social care services, 46% of those in the most deprived areas did not get access compared to 38% of those in the least deprived areas.
‘Many older people have seen their healthcare disrupted during the pandemic, and the burden has disproportionately fallen on those who were already disadvantaged and in poor health,’ said report co-author, Isabel Stockton.
‘As we move into another lockdown, it will be crucial to ensure access to routine care is maintained as much as possible and that a plan is in place to address care backlogs built up in the first few months of the pandemic. Without this commitment, we risk entrenching existing health inequalities for years to come.’
Photo Credit – Bru-nO (Pixabay)