The House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change has today published its ‘Ready for Ageing?’ report on the impact of the ageing society on public services.
The report has taken an unprecedented look at the implications of a rapidly ageing population on a wide range of public services and ask whether we are prepared as a society for the projected 50 per cent increase in those aged 65 and older in England and 100 per cent increase in the over 85s by 2030.
As Britain’s leading builder of retirement apartments, accounting for 70 per cent of the private sector market, McCarthy & Stone submitted evidence in writing and in person to The House of Lords Committee on Public Service & Demographic Change. The offered expert housing comment on the report’s findings from Gary Day, Land & Planning Director, McCarthy & Stone.
The report identifies the scale of the challenge presented by the ageing population and set out what steps are required to ensure that our increased longevity does not turn into a series of crises.
Today’s report rightly argues the home should be the hub of care and support. Not only does homecare allow older people to be cared for in a familiar environment, it is also much more cost efficient than providing care in hospitals or residential care homes. The vast majority of the annual NHS budget of £108.9bn is spent on older people, but the investment needed to cover the cost of reforming the social care system is just £2bn, which would take a huge amount off strain off the NHS and create huge savings. This kind of investment, and shift in the NHS would create a virtuous circle whereby the savings made to NHS spending could then be reinvested into the social care budget, ultimately at lower cost to the taxpayer
Over a year ago, a petition was handed to Number 10 by older peoples charity Anchor with 137,000 signatures calling for a Minister for Older People to be appointed in Government. There is a distinct lack a person in Cabinet who is responsible for looking at older people’s needs across the board, taking a holistic approach to preparing for issues that are faced by older people today, as well as future generations.
The Government desperately needs to move quickly on this issue. An Older People’s Minster is long overdue and we urgently need a more joined-up approach to dealing with demographic change, for the older people of today and tomorrow.