This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

NHS must evolve for an ageing population

Written by: | Published:

An ageing population is NHS's biggest challenge An ageing population is NHS's biggest challenge

For the first time in UK history, the population of people over 65 is greater than that of those under 16. This is a cause for celebration: more of us are living longer lives. However, with this new demographic profile, policy changes are urgently required.

Recently, 150 people gathered at a Guardian debate on ageing to hear how new health, housing, social and care policies might accommodate the growing population of elders in our society.
The debate included discussion on 'co-production' – involving older people as partners in the design and implementation of policy initiatives, while recognising that they are not one homogenous group with identical needs.

It was clear that we need policies that support older people to keep healthy. This includes embracing opportunities for employment and volunteering – which have been shown to support good physical, social and emotional wellbeing in older age.

The panel also discussed international approaches to meeting the housing needs of older people, citing Denmark's remarkably successful model of three-generation household living.
The hugely impressive Baroness Joan Bakewell, previously the Labour Party's ambassador for older people, was honest and pragmatic – she clearly understood the issues, the challenges and the nuances on all sides of the debate.

Two issues were evident by the end of the evening. Firstly, while the QNI supports professional regulation for the nursing assistant workforce, this is not the position of the current government. However, the QNI will continue to lobby for professional regulation. Achieving this will be a significant move in protecting the most vulnerable people receiving care in our society.

Secondly, some of those who espouse policy (with the exception of Lady Bakewell) appear to have very limited experience and understanding of providing care at home for older people living with complex health and social care needs.

To help address this, the QNI will continue to offer senior system leaders without clinical experience the opportunity to shadow a Queen's Nurse while at work. We believe that witnessing the delivery of excellent nursing care in the community can have a profound impact on policy development.
Feedback on this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive and I am grateful to all the Queen's Nurses, patients, carers and families who so generously share their experiences to help shape future policy.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.