Headlines: November 6th, 2000

Professor Ian Philp has been appointed as National Director of Older People’s Services, with a remit to stamp out ageism in the NHS.The concern here is with ageism in allocation of care rather than with the NHS as a large and important employer.

The professor’s role is part of an initiative that includes a new National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People – which will be published later this year and will set, for the first time, national standards of care for older people.

NHS bodies will have to ensure that their policies and practices explicitly prohibit age discrimination, patients and their carers will be made aware of how to complain if they feel they have faced age discrimination, and NHS bodies will be required to report publicly on how they have dealt with such complaints.

One of Professor Philp’s first duties will be to chair the older people’s taskforce which has been set up to drive forward the implementation of the NHS Plan. The first meeting will take place this week.

Professor Philp is Professor of Health Care for Elderly People at the Northern General Hospital. He was previously Director of the Sheffield Institute for Studies in Ageing. He was also the co-chair of the independent reference group that advised the Government on the development of the NSF for Older People.