Britain is “woefully underprepared” for a rapidly ageing population, warns a House of Lords report

Britain is “woefully underprepared” for a rapidly ageing population, warns a House of Lords report © 123RF Stock Photos

The House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change issued on March 14th its first report, stating that the United Kingdom is "woefully underprepared" for ageing and calling for an urgent action by Government. The Committee says that the rapidly ageing population will have a huge impact on British society and public services and unless Government and all political parties address this, the gift of longer life could lead to a series of crises.

The “Ready for Ageing?” report identifies how England will see a 50% rise in the number of those aged 65+ and a 100% increase in those aged 85+ between 2010 and 2030.

“As a country we are not ready for the rapid ageing of our population. By 2030, England will have double the number of people aged 85 and over than it had in 2010, and the large increase in our older population will have profound effects. The amazing gift of longer life is to be welcomed, but our society and politicians need to address the implications, and the changes needed to attitudes, policies and services so people are best able to benefit from it”, said Lord Filkin, Chairman of the Committee.

Appointed on 29 May 2012 to consider public service provision in the light of demographic change, the first report issued by the Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change concludes that the current British model of health and social care provision is failing older people now and is inappropriate to care well for the many more older people there will be with chronic health conditions.

The report explains how radical changes to health and social care are needed and the Committee calls on the Government to set out a vision and framework so health and social care services progressively change to become much better fitted to meet the needs of an ageing society.

“Health and social care need to be radically reformed; both are failing older people now. A big shift in services is essential so that the many more older people with long-term conditions can be well cared for and supported in their own homes and in the community and not needlessly end up in hospital. All health services and social care must be integrated to help achieve this”, commented Lord Filkin, who also urged the Government “to set out in a White Paper the implications of an ageing society with a vision for living well and independently. It should set out how our health and social care services, our pension arrangements and our practices must change to achieve this. All political parties should be expected to consider the wider implications of the ageing society in their manifestos for the 2015 election.”

To find more about the report, click here.