This is the second of two blogs by BGS President David Oliver, focusing on the recent launch of the NHS England Five Year Forward View. Read part one here.
In my blog on 24th October, I described the crucial marker that this document has laid down for the mid-term future of English Health and Care services and the “big picture” implications. Here I want, in the words of the “Dragon’s Den” voice-over, to “drill down” into some of the key features and their implications for fellow BGS members.
Whilst we deal with the consequences of preventable ill health in older age, the report’s focus on prevention across the lifecourse is commendable. We know that there are major inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy at 65 and that around half of all poor health in older age is attributable to life style factors. So its good to see a clear challenge to government around diet, obesity, alcohol, cigarettes and exercise and the need to move away from “nudge” and “responsibility deals” to more proven preventative interventions. We also welcome the greater focus on local government’s role in reducing social isolation or improving housing for older people. And on the untapped contribution that volunteers can make to helping older people remain connected and active – as well as the benefits for older people who are volunteers. Continue reading