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IVF conception after 44 is 'futile', NHS migrant charging 'too costly' and how elderly are 'trapped' in hospital

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

The top story across the papers today is new research revealing that women’s’ chances of conceiving through IVF tail off rapidly at age 40, with women aged 44 having just a 1.3% chance of success, the Guardian reports.

The Spanish study of birth rates investigated more than 4,000 women, and noted the sharp decline with women aged 38-39 having a a 24% success rate, dropping to 15.6% in women aged 40-41.

Lead researcher, Dr Marta Devesa said: ‘There is a clinically relevant decline from 41 to 42 – but the prognosis is really futile from 44 and onwards’.

The Independent reports that Government plans to introduce charges for migrants receiving medical treatment would cost more to enforce than they would recoup and potentially lead to outbreaks of disease from a lack of preventative care.

A paper in the BMJ today has said the proposal to charge for primary and emergency care, currently undergoing consultation, would also make the UK one of the most restrictive countries in Europe.

The paper states: ‘The UK government wants the public to believe that the changes being proposed will make the country less appealing to undocumented migrants and will save taxpayers’ money. This view is shortsighted and misleading.’

And finally, increasing numbers of elderly people are being ‘trapped’ in hospital because of a lack of space in residential and nursing homes, and over-stretched social care and district nursing services unable to get them home.

The charity Age UK has warned 2.5 million bed days have been lost over the past five years, and called for extra funding to be allocated to councils to restore services and end the drain on NHS funds.

Caroline Abrahams, from Age UK, said: ‘Without decent social care when discharged, whether to their own home or to a care home, hospital stays are often much longer than they need to be and older people are more likely to be readmitted because their recovery stalls.’

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