The Equality Act 2010 should prevent age discrimination in the provision of healthcare and other services in the UK. The Royal College of Psychiatrists' Faculty of the Psychiatry of Old Age and General & Community Psychiatry Faculty have offered constructive guidance to help achieve this. However, there are pitfalls. First, legislation does not guarantee enforcement. Second, discrimination in the form of persisting negative attitudes of society towards older people and their ability to benefit from health interventions is associated with a deficit in funding old age services that has accumulated gradually during the 60 years of the National Health Service. These difficulties will need to be overcome to achieve effective implementation of the Act.
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