The UK NSC recommendation on Screening in old age to prevent hospitalisation and death (archived)

This recommendation is no longer active

Date of deactivation 12 March 2018
Reason for deactivation UK NSC advised
Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
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Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

A review found that the screening tests used to identify people who are at risk of being ill enough to go to hospital are not accurate enough.

This means that many older people would be followed up and made unnecessarily anxious and others who are at risk would be sent away without the support that they might need.

The committee also agreed that it is difficult to assess screening for the many health problems that might cause an elderly person to be admitted to hospital. In line with its usual practice the UK NSC has agreed that screening proposals for older people will be reviewed for individual health problems in future.

More about Old Age

Over the last decade there has been a much higher increasee in the number of hospital admissions in the UK for people over 75. Between 2000/01 and 2010/11 there has been a 65% increase in the number of hospital admissions for people over 75, compared to a 43% increase in the general population.

Though the population of over 75s in the uk is 8%, around 25% of all hospital admissions, seen by a consultant in 2010/11, were for people over 75. The average hospital admission was twice the length (10.5 days compared to 5.5) in people over 75 when compared to the general population.   

The screening policy review aims to assess the ability to screen this population to prevent hospitalisation and death  

» Read more about staying healthy as an older person on NHS Choices

Related documents

icon Summary and consultation responses to screening in old age to prevent hospitalisation and death (PDF document, 170KB, 18/12/13)

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