“Around 50 hospital beds are blocked each day by patients fit to leave at the Royal Devon and Exeter Trust”

Owl says: In the past many of these patients would have been transferred to local community hospitals, where they would be rehabilitated to go home or moved to local facilities, leaving RDE to use the unblocked beds for new acute patients:

“With elderly patients often stuck waiting to be signed off, there is concern over the impact delays can have on their health.

According to the NHS, a hospital stay of more than 10 days for a person over 80 can lead to 10 years of muscle ageing.

NHS England figures show that in February, patients at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust spent a total of 1,398 days waiting to be discharged or transferred to a different care facility. …”


“Rising age of East Devon residents will be one of the highest in the UK”

New figures show that the district will have one of the highest ratios of retirement-age residents in England.

Economic experts say higher taxes or lower spending will be needed to cope with the costs of the UK’s ageing population.

According to the main population projections done by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there are currently 43,082 people of pension age in East Devon and 77,786 of working age.

The ratio, produced by the ONS, takes into account migration from overseas and other parts of the UK, based on trends for the past 10 years.

It’s predicted that by 2026 there’ll be 574 people eligible for a state pension for every 1,000 still working.

Previous projections show the current rate is 554.

It also considers the gradual increase in the retirement age introduced by the Government. By 2026 it will reach 67.

David Sturrock, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the ratio provided a useful measure for the pressure an ageing population will place on society.

He said: “We think there needs to be some response to demographic pressures, either through spending reduction, tax rises, or some combination of both.

“Some steps have been made, such as raising the state pension age, but on current trends the ageing population will continue to grow, and it will demand action from politicians.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Many will be surprised by how much older people contribute to society including a great deal of knowledge, skill and energy. Whether they are volunteers, informal carers or paid employees, many are redefining what it means to be ‘an older person’.

“Our creaking social care system has been chronically underfunded for years and will simply not be able to cope with the extra demand that an ageing population will bring unless substantial funding is found.

“We also need to create age friendly communities that offer a good quality of life across the generations, by designing environments that are safe and pleasant to live in, with good local facilities and open spaces.

“If we can get this right it will help to sustain the health, well-being and quality of life for everyone, regardless of age.”


Private school head complains too many state school children are going to Oxbridge

“The headmaster of a leading private school has compared the rise in Oxbridge admissions among state-educated pupils to the policies of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Anthony Wallersteiner, head of Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, told The Times that parents of his students are complaining about “social engineering” edging their children out of places at Oxford and Cambridge.

He said: “There’s a much more concerted effort by [Oxbridge] admissions tutors to drive down the number of places given to independent schools and redress the balance and to put in context. …

… Last year a report found 42 percent of places at Oxford and Cambridge go to independent school students, even though just 7% of the general population attend a private school. …”


MPs claiming expenses for adult children

“The Daily Telegraph says it has discovered that MPs – including Energy minister Claire Perry – are boosting their expenses by claiming for adult children dependent on them.

According to the paper, the age limit when claiming for children is 18, rising to 21 for certain exceptions.

Ms Perry says all her claims are made in accordance with the rules; two other MPs have told the Telegraph they will return money.

The paper’s leader column says the rules may have changed in the wake of the expenses scandal 10 years ago – but it is clearly going to take a long time to remake the culture in Westminster.

It concludes by advising politicians to listen to the words of Lord Tebbit – “If you wouldn’t be happy to read something about yourself on the front pages, don’t do it.”