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Urgent call for new government to deliver new strategy for UK’s ageing population

The National Pensioners’ Convention is calling on our newly elected government to urgently prioritise a strategy for the UK’s rapidly ageing population.


A fifth of people in the UK are now over 65 – and within two decades that will rise to 1 in 4, or a quarter of the entire country. But while more of us are living longer, our healthy life expectancy is plummeting, * exacerbated by our struggling health and care services. And more of us – 2.1million to date – are living in poverty.


Despite their welcome pre-election promises to protect the triple lock on state pension increases, and to ‘start’ to establish a desperately needed National Care Service, the NPC is concerned that the problems of the older population are not high on their priorities.


Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC said: “Older people were largely invisible in the pre-election debates on the party manifestos.


So, the NPC will be looking carefully at how the new government engage with older people on their promises and whether they are open to working on a 360-degree strategy for ageing well – particularly through an independent Commissioner for Older People and Ageing in England (as they have in Wales, and Northern Ireland).


“We hope to be able to work with the new government on this issue, and many others, including free social care for the 1 in 5 of us – 13 million – now over 65 who are increasingly living in poor health. Over and above all this is the issue of the push to digital across all areas of our lives, from banking to the NHS, and travel to shopping – this is leaving our ageing population dangerously behind.”


Jan added: “Even maintaining the triple lock, while welcome, is not going to be enough to help the millions of older people who are going to increasingly require complex health and social care provision in future.


“I hope the new government considers this when they look at the care needs of the 1 in 4 of us – a quarter of the population – who will be over 65 within two decades.”

The NPC Annual Convention in Blackpool on 3rd and 4th September, when the keynote will be delivered by the Digital Poverty Alliance.  The 2024 NPC Annual Convention at The Imperial Hotel in Blackpool on 3rd and 4th September will offer a unique opportunity to assess how the next government is doing in its first 100 days. Details on how to book here: Will we see you in Blackpool? (npcuk.org)


*The King’s Fund - 10 April 2024 (What Is Happening To Life Expectancy In England? | The King's Fund (kingsfund.org.uk) - reported that while male life expectancy was 78.8 years, average healthy male life expectancy was only 62.4 years – i.e. 16.4 of those years (21%) would have been spent in poor health. Female life expectancy was 82.8 years, of which 20.1 years (24%) would have been in poor health.  These figures are worse than those gathered ten years previously.


NB: To read the NPC paper, ‘Goodbye Cinderella: A New Settlement for Care Services’ visit www.npcuk.org

NB: Social care is devolved so these policies would apply to England only.


ENDS


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