The NHS will outlaw age discrimination in the provision of treatment and care from 2012, Health Secretary Andy Burnham has pledged.
It follows an investigation by Sir Ian Carruthers, the chief executive of NHS South West, after a spate of ageism claims against health services.
A poll has found that half of doctors who care for the elderly believe the NHS is “institutionally ageist”, and that older stroke patients receive less care than younger counterparts.
Mr Burnham, who will address National Children and Adult Services Conference, said: “As we live longer and as the NHS helps us live longer, we have to look at different ways the NHS can help older people.”
He will reportedly stress that legal rights will be introduced “without delay” as he awaits the conclusions of a study by an NHS chief into how to ensure fair access to services for pensioners.
Is the NHS ageist?