Book News: March 10th, 2009

This review published by the Department for Work and Pensions found that a large number of older people are already involved in consultation, but that most local authorities do not give priority to listening to their views. Only around one third of local authorities had meaningful engagement with the older community. This patchy coverage of older people’s engagement at a local level is exacerbated by the absence of any systematic means of capturing views at either a regional or a national level. This is a lost opportunity.

The review recommends that Local Strategic Partnerships should be the main vehicle for developing consultation because they bring together other key partners such as Primary Care Trusts, Police and the Fire Service.

The review also recommends the establishment of a UK Advisory Forum for Older People. It should be chaired by the lead government Minister for Older People supported by regional advisory forums. The Forum would act as a sounding board for Ministers and provide advice on older people’s issues. A core task could be to advise on the development and implementation of Government’s overall strategy for an ageing society. This recommendation would raise the profile of older people’s issues by providing leadership at the highest level with the structure and means to capture views in an organised way.

The Review of Older people’s Engagement is available from DWP.