I spoke at 2 fringe meetings yesterday on health and talked about how we need to redirect resources when the majority of patients in hospital beds are over 60. Many should not be in hospital but end up there through inadequate help and support at home. Local councils have been slashing social care budgets (no choice because of the cuts imposed on them by Government) so we see the consequences in hospital admissions.
Let's remember that the number of over 65s will rise from 18% now to 30% in 2060. People over 80 will triple in next half century.
So the challenge for health and social care is stark. Hunt knows action is needed. And part of this, as we were discussing , is to get culture change. Charities should be at the fore front of health and care provision. The work of organisations like Age UK must be supported. The new CCGs should look at how they increase their commissioning of services from our sector. The health professionals and the managers need to think more radically about who provides services and how. CCGs could be beacons of good practise by using charities and social enterprises more.
But it is not just service provision where we are needed . Our role is also to act as champions and advocates and in this role we should increasingly play a part in design of services for the elderly. We also have a huge repository of experience and wisdom about what older people actually want from their health and social care systems. Age UK is just one of a range of superb charities who work to imporve the livrs of older people. And Age UK in particular are involved in a range of innovative projects, including impact bonds. I said at one of thre fringes we should be radical and ask CCGs to think of handling the commissioning of services to organisations like Age UK who can then commission health and social care on behalf of the older person. A people centred approach which can also ensure more cost effective use of resources.
After one of the fringes I was talking to Simon Gillespie, the inspirational CEO of the MS charity. He and colleagues have been approaching CCGs to offer them their advice about how they handle neurological conditions and what they can do to change and improve- including how they can both provide a better tailored service but also a more cost efficient one.
Exactly the same point was made to me by another active acevo member Simon Antrobus who runs Addaction. He told me they are having an external evaluation of one of their services to show a council the actual cost savings they achieve for them through their approach to addiction problems in problem families. Their " break the cycle" services are a shining example of a people centred, holistic approach which achieves better outcomes at a better cost than unjoined up and uncoordinated public service interventions.
And by the time I had done the rounds of the Spectator; having spread pearls of third sector wisdom to, amongst others, Chris Grayling and Eric Pickles, I was fair knackered and work feeling distinctly ropey. I was glad I did not have yet another breakfast speaking engagement!
But I have to admit to one lamentable networking failure. Whilst I was standing chatting to Simon I noticed a chap opposite I was sure I recognised but could not place. On his own, looking lonely but then he was in somewhat untory like garb- long shirt not tucked in a long coat and long fuzzy hair. And in the paper this morning I spot who it was. Brian May of The Queen. What a plonker I am. And what a missed opportunity for a magnificent photo of me+him on the Blog! Never mind Hunt. Me and May!