Our call for ‘rethink’ on ageing from local leaders
Published on 06 July 2010 12:00 AM
Age UK calls for ‘radical rethink' on ageing from local leaders to face cuts challenge
Age UK today calls on local leaders to ‘radically rethink' their approach to ageing as they face the huge challenge of addressing the growing needs of an ageing society while under relentless pressure to slash budgets.
With local public sector bodies and their partners set to grapple with the dilemma of more devolved powers and tightened budgets, a new manifesto from Age UK is calling for a step-change to local government's policies and services for people in later life.
While protecting crucial sectors, such as social care, will be imperative, the tough times ahead mean doing things differently based on more involvement of older people in decision-making, more preventative action and more collaborative working to identify low-cost, effective solutions, the Charity argues.
Age UK will launch the new policy report, Local action for later life, at the Local Government Association Group annual conference this week, setting out their key challenges to local public sector bodies and outlining how Age UK can work with them to address these.
Age UK is calling on local public sector bodies to:
- prepare for the 2011 public sector equality duty;
- protect social care provision from spending cuts;
- maximise benefit take-up and fight fuel poverty;
- redeploy local NHS resources towards public health, prevention, community healthcare and social care;
- commit to creating age-friendly services and public spaces.
Belinda Wadsworth, Strategy Adviser for Age UK, said:
"More devolved powers, tighter budgets and the cost of an ageing society are set to present local leaders with a formidable challenge. Rising to it and ensuring quality services for people in later life will require bold and brave leadership.
"A radical rethink is needed to allow people in later life to be more meaningfully involved in decision-making, to boost preventative measures and enable local public services to work more closely together to identity low-cost, effective solutions.
"As the leading charity for people in later life, Age UK is ready to roll up its sleeves and work with local leaders to redesign services to meet the needs of our ageing population."
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Notes to editors
- To receive an electronic copy of the Local action for later life policy report, please contact the press office on the numbers below.
- Age UK's spokespeople will attend the LGA annual conference this week. To arrange an interview with them, please contact the press office on the numbers below.
- Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. The Age UK family includes Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI.
Media contact: Stefano Gelmini
Telephone: 020 8765 7514 (out-of-hours: 07071 243 243)