"I'm 75 and I still want to be treated"

About: Kirklees PCT

(as the patient),

Why are we no longer on the doctor's computer after the age of 75?

I had my cholesterol checked and it was high (7.2). My doctor said he didn't like giving medication to over 75s.

Also i have a brochure in front of me from the local NHS. In it, it says you can have a life check for young babies, teenagers and people aged 40-75. Don't over 75s matter any more? Have we lived too long, as there are a lot of us about?

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Response from Patient Advice & Liaison Service, NHS Kirklees

Thank you for your comments regarding NHS LifeCheck and the age groups that are not currently covered by the scheme.

I am sorry that you feel certain age groups have been missed out in this scheme, however the government pledged in the White paper ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ (2006), to introduce just three NHS LifeChecks for early years, teens and mid-life. There may be further NHS LifeChecks in the future for children, 18-39 year olds and over 75s, but that will depend on the success of the first three services. No other age groups are currently being developed.

However there will shortly be an online self education programme for people in Kirklees called Staywell. It is designed for people to answer a set of questions to assess any gaps in their knowledge about their own health - to which they will then be given information and be directed to local services. There are 3 separate packages; 'Staywell 65' (for anybody 65 or over), 'Generic' for anybody with a long term illness and 'Diabetes'. Staywell will be live from 1st May 2009.

In response to your other question regarding computer records for patients over 75, patient's records are not removed from a Doctor's computer systems due to age.

In regard to the prescribing of cholesterol reducing medication for over 75s, this decision will have been made by your GP based on clinical need, taking into account many factors such as side effects, effectiveness and alternatives such as diet and exercise. If you have any concerns regarding this, please contact your GP to discuss the matter further.

If you have any further comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the PALS team at NHS Kirklees on 01484 466172 or 01484 466214.

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