Headlines: April 12th, 1999

A virtual conference will be held on the Internet next month to get views on how the Government can respond to the needs of older people. The agenda will include issues related to leading active lives, care and health, transport, consultation and involvement. Participants will be asked to say what matters most to them. The conference will be followed by a six month programme of events around the UK arranged in partnership with a range of voluntary organisations. Feedback will help to set priorities for action and shape policies to meet the needs of older people.

This listening exercise is part of the Better Government for Older People Programme launched last year. The programme includes 28 local pilots that are developing a range of projects to improve the quality of public services for older people and a Learning Network which will ensure that more local authorities across the UK can share experience with the pilot areas.

The listening approach is similar to that being followed by the Women’s Unit. Feedback on women’s issues is being obtained through an Internet conference in February, road shows that continue until June and over one million reply cards distributed through major retailers.