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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


Elderly Care Fringe Event CPC 2010

Oct 03. till Oct 03.

Elderly Care: Are we failing?

This event was chaired by Chris Skidmore MP, Health Select Commitee

October 3, 20102010-10-03T12:30:00 - October 3, 2010 2010-10-03T02:00:00
12:30 PM 2010-10-03T12:30:00 - 2:00 PM 2010-10-03T02:00:00
ICC Hall 7

Conservative Party Conference 2010

Image Conservative Party Conference 2010


Chris Skidmore MP, Health Select Committee

Julia Manning, Chief Executive, 2020health

Helena Herklots, Services Director, Age UK

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive, Carers UK

Victoria Fletcher, Health Correspondent, Daily Express

  • Probable decreases of social care budget are a concern
  • Elderly people should not be sidelined when receiving health care
  • Carers continue to give a lot to the elderly
  • We need to do more as individuals and as organisations to promote the well-being of the elderly

In this event we discussed how we treat the elderly, both as individuals and as a country, and what we can do to improve that treatment. At first the discussion focussed around the likely cuts in the social care budget. Whilst the NHS budget has been ring-fenced, the social care budget has not. This does not seem to make sense, since the failure of social care will lead to many more people in A&E. It is not clear how health and social care will interact in the future, and how the integration of these disciplines would work.

Are we failing in how we care for the elderly? The elderly need the same standard of treatment and care given to the rest of the population. Stories of malnourishment in hospital and elderly people dying from cold and hunger in their homes show how we are failing our elderly. Even in social care, the trend is towards rushed 15-minute visits with no time for the care-worker to treat the client as an individual. In some ways the NHS appears to be institutionally ageist – however this policy should be publicly debated, rather than quietly introduced. 


One of the sectors of the population not failing the elderly are the carers. The number of people providing care for more than 50 hours per week is increasing. It is not that families are failing their relatives but are living further away, making visiting more difficult.

What can we do?

  • Make time for elderly people including friends and relatives
  • With 2020health, raise the status and improve the appreciation of the elderly
  • Benefit from the experience of the elderly, who are coming towards the end of life’s adventure
  • Make use of telecare and telehealth
  • Become advocates for elderly care at a local level, through Healthwatch
  • Highlight elderly care issues through the media

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