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Mental health of over-60s hit by delayed NHS operations

Cancelled or postponed treatment taking its toll

A huge number of over 60 year olds believe their mental health has suffered as a result of cancelled or delayed NHS diagnostic tests or operations, research shows.

A quarter (25%) of the age group surveyed for Nuffield Health, the independent sector hospital and wellbeing group, said they are worried their physical health would also deteriorate as a result of the hold-ups

The poll shows that having sought help, one in 10 (16%) Brits aged over 60 then had their appointment postponed two or more times. Of those who had their appointment, test or operation cancelled, three in 10 (29%) were given less than 24 hours’ notice, with 16% cancelled on the day. With 73% having mentally prepared, they then had to wait an average of 10.5 weeks for it to be rescheduled, with two in 10 waiting over 16 weeks.

Nuffield Health said the survey reveals that delays and cancellations caused three in 10 over 60 year-olds to feel “stressed” and “anxious”.