Ageing Population Brings Pressures For UK Healthcare And Social Services.

Already 35% of the UK population are aged 50 or more and this is set to rise over the next 20 years to around 39%. The distribution of older citizens is much more concentrated in some geographic areas, which means that many councils and PCTs may have more than half of their local population in the 50 plus age group.

With health and social care budgets under sustained pressure, there is an urgent need to plan ahead to ensure that local services are equipped to meet the changing needs of an ageing population.

Bob Peters, Managing Director at 2020 Research, feels that a more holistic view needs to be taken of the needs of the elderly, looking not only at immediate health and social support, but also at the wider issues of extended employment, finance and pensions, and social and leisure activities.

"We are lucky to be experiencing better health and longer life expectancies, but we also need to recognise the wider impact of changes in the profile of our population, and to ensure that the older members of our society are able to enjoy a good quality lifestyle. Research can play a valuable part in understanding the needs of this age group, but we also have to be aware of the budgetary pressures on councils and health bodies, and look to find ways to deliver real insight in the most cost-effective manner"