Age UK looks ahead to the health and social care bill
Published on 18 January 2011 05:00 PM
Looking ahead to the Health and Social Care Bill due to be published on Wednesday 19 January, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
'While the NHS reforms will impact on everyone to a greater or lesser extent, they are likely to be most keenly felt by older people, who are the largest patient group using the NHS. Older people's needs must be at the heart of these reforms and a robust process for monitoring the impact they will have on older patients during this time of immense transition is vital.
'The reforms need to create an NHS that can meet the challenges of demographic change. As life expectancy increases, there will be growing numbers of us living with multiple complex conditions, disabilities and frailty. Unless serious solutions to tackling these issues are developed now, the success of these reforms risks being undermined.
'Health outcomes, such as cancer survival rates, have not improved as much for people over the age of 75. The forthcoming reforms present a unique opportunity to eradicate the serious barriers older people face in accessing high quality care and achieving optimum health outcomes. Ensuring the new commissioning structures and Outcomes Framework work for older people is essential to achieving this.
'As the Government proceeds with these fundamental reforms to the NHS, Age UK is calling on David Nicholson in his forthcoming role as chief executive of the NHS commissioning board, to carry out a system wide review on the implications of ageing and especially the rising numbers of people in late old age. Only by getting it right for older people can we create an NHS for the 21st century.'
- ENDS -
Notes to Editors
Andrew Harrop, Director of Public Policy and Public Affairs at Age UK gave evidence to the health select committee on the commissioning reforms. He is available for interview on this issue and wider reforms - please contact the press office.
Age UK works in partnership with Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI. 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 inspired by the belief that it can improve the lives of people in later life. It celebrates ageing and believes it presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges at home and abroad. Age UK will challenge ageist prejudice in society, provide services that address market failures and support the public and private sectors to design age-friendly products and services. It will support people to remain in their own homes through campaigning and practical services and its Information and Advice service will offer millions of people support on a range of issues from claiming benefits to staying fit and healthy.
Age UK will fund biomedical research that helps tackle the ill health and poor quality of life that are too common as people age. Working with over 350 partners across the country, Age UK helps influence local decisions and delivers the most appropriate services. Its network of over 475 shops will act as a focal point for the local community, providing information and help with local services. Age UK works across the globe as well as in the UK, with its international partner, Help Age International, championing older people's rights and needs and as an active member of the DEC.
Media contact: Vicky Smith
Tel: 020 8765 7515
Out of hours: 07071 243 243