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Services for elderly "underfunded"

Most doctors say that not enough money is being spent on NHS care of the elderly, according to a new report.

More than 90% of the 471 doctors surveyed said that NHS services for older people are suffering from a lack of funding.

More than two thirds (68%) of doctors said staffing levels in residential and nursing homes were not appropriate, and 78% said this was a key priority that needed to be addressed.

The study by the British Medical Association (BMA) also found that 62% of doctors thought there were not enough services to support people with dementia.

The biggest area of worry, however, was the lack of services available in the community. Only 8% of doctors felt that activities provided in residential and care homes to maintain mental agility and physical exercise were adequate.

Dr Helena McKeown, a GP from Wiltshire and chair of the BMA's Committee on Community Care, said: "It's disgraceful that care services are so chronically underfunded.

"In my area we no longer have an attached social worker, a community physiotherapist or a dedicated community psychiatric nurse so it's very difficult to give our patients the sort of joined-up care they need."

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Do you think more funding should be put towards care of the elderly? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I think it is extremely important to value the elderly as there are many out ther who have a wealth of knowledge and even those who do not deserve the right of dignity and respect and keeping them active (mental and physical) reduces the complications around illness reducing the financial implications involved in care." - Carol Young, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

"Yes." - Folake Kehinde, Camden