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Archive for July, 2010

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson gives the second keynote speech at the Faculty of Public Health Conference on Wednesday 7 July.

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By Jessica Becker

How can one extend work life while meeting the needs of an ageing workforce? What can be done to promote age-friendly communities? And how is the recession impacting on the care for the elderly?

Dame Carol Black, the National Director of Health Work and Wellbeing, Andrew Harrop, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Age UK, and Yvonne Coull, former director of Queen Margaret University Centre for the Older Person’s Pension Agenda,  discussed the future challenges of an ageing society at the FPH Annual Conference on Wednesday 7 July.

One of the big issues related to an ageing society is the question as to how to deal with an ageing workforce. Dame Carol Black said that while life expectancy is increasing, health expectancy has not kept up. She argued that in order to build a resilient workforce, support in education and an early, co-ordinated intervention is required. Andrew Harrop stressed that no society can afford to leave a high number of people from their mid-fifties relying on welfare because they are no longer fit for their jobs. Yvonne Coull therefore claimed for flexibility on the side of the employers to meet the demands and potential of older people.

An ageing population does not only impact on the work life, but also changes society. As the number of the elderly increase, communities need to adapt. One aspect of this change relates to the physical design of communities, for example when it comes to pavements, as Harrop explained: “When people feel safe, they are more confident to participate in the communities.” This participation has a positive impact, not least on the interaction between generations, Dame Carol pointed out, and should therefore be further encouraged.

Everyone agreed that the underlying issue affecting all of the discussed topics is the prospect of cutting funds. However, Yvonne Coull expressed the hope that the “older generation that is coming through is more active and more demanding than ever before,” and may therefore be able to lessen the effects of decreasing funding.

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Afternoon parallel session at the Faculty of Public Health annual conference, on Wednesday 7 July.

Chaired by Tom Fowler, Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT, and panel members Hilary Burton, Programme Director at PHG Foundation, David Melzer, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Peninsula Medical School, Christine Patch, Consultant Genetic Counsellor and Manager at Guy’s Hospital and Richard Ashcroft, Professor of Bioethics at Queen Mary, University of London.

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Afternoon parallel session at the Faculty of Public Health annual conference, on Wednesday 7 July.

Chaired by Susan Elden (Public Health Advisor at the Department of International Development) and panel members Clive Needle (Director and EU Policy Advisor at EuroHealthnet) and Helmut Brand (Professor of European Public Health at Maastricht University).

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Parallel Session A (c) at the Faculty of Public Health annual conference, Wednesday 7 July.

Chaired by Rachael Jolley (FPH) and with panel members Chris Bentley (Head of Health Inequalities NST, Department of Health), Peter Kellner (President, YouGov), Samantha Callan (Chairman of Residence, Centre for Social Justice).

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Plenary Session 4 at the Faculty of Public Health annual conference, Wednesday 7 July.

Chaired by Adam Brimelow (BBC Health Correspondent) and panel members Prof. Julian Le Grand (LSE and former No 10 health advisor), Anna Coote (Head of Social Policy, new economics foundation), Dr Anna Dixon (Director of Policy, King’s Fund) and Dr Paul Edmonson-Jones (Director of Public Health and Primary Care, Portsmouth City Teaching PCT).

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Secretary of State Andrew Lansley’s speech plus short Q&A, Wednesday 7 July at the Faculty of Public Health annual conference

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