Age UK response to the Public Sector White Paper
Published on 11 July 2011 05:30 PM
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said: 'Public services are essential to older people, but standards are often poor and they don't always meet individuals' needs, so reform and improvement is vital.
'Age UK supports the key principles of choice and diversity in public services, but it's important to remember that markets can fail, as the recent case of Southern Cross has demonstrated.
'Before new providers are commissioned, public bodies must be able to demonstrate older people will benefit from the change. They must guard against the danger of systems becoming more disjointed and fragmented as the numbers of private providers increase. As the White Paper states, increasing choice for individuals will only be beneficial if the choice is between quality providers.
'Age UK will monitor the progress of reform of public services closely to ensure it delivers real improvements in services for older people."
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For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.
Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.
We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).
Media contact: Vicky Smith
Telephone: 020 3033 1438
Out-of-office-hours: 07071 243 243