Tackle Poverty and Promote Greater Independence and Well-being in Later Life

Public Service Agreement (PSA) 17 issued by the Department for Work on Pensions in October 2007 seeks to ensure that the specific needs of the older population are given due priority. It sets out the outcomes the government seeks to achieve in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) period to promote improvements in independence and well-being in later life for the longer term, building on the commitments made in Opportunity Age - Meeting the Challenges of Ageing in the 21st Century -the government's strategy for older people and an ageing society. Read the PSA report here.

The target group is everyone over 50 years and five key aspects of independence and well-being have been identified:

  • making a contribution to society, in particular through employment

Employment - the government will increase the choices that older people have over working, improve the provision of information about those choices and seek to change attitudes. Delivery will be achieved through improving work incentives; supporting the over 50s in the labour market; skills and training; tackling age discrimination; harnessing older people's wider contribution to society via volunteering and caring; local authorities will be required to address employment issues through Local Area Agreements (LAAs).

  • material well-being, in particular the need to continue tackling pensioner poverty

Pensioner poverty - the government will promote material well-being in later life through its work on employment, through setting and paying state pensions and benefits, and through promoting savings for retirement. Delivery will be achieved through promoting take-up of benefits; streamlining processes; integrated and simplified claiming; fairer and more generous state pensions; encouraging longer working and saving for retirement; increasing financial capability.

  • the level of health experienced in later life

Promoting health - the government will deliver flexible and responsive health and social care services that meet people's aspirations for independence and well-being giving them greater control over their lives, and help people age actively and healthily. DH will lead on delivery. Actions include disseminating lessons from Partnerships for Older People Projects (POPP) pilot sites; next steps in implementing the NSF for older people will include supporting older people to overcome barriers to active life; local authorities to work with PCTs to deliver preventive health programmes; new health and social care outcomes and accountability framework for NHS and social services to ensure joint setting of priorities by users, practitioners and commissioners.

  • satisfaction with home and neighbourhood including the impact of factors such as access to services, transport and crime, and social contacts

Housing and community - the government will improve housing information and options, housing conditions, home adaptations and the appropriateness of housing for older people. The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) will publish a National Housing Strategy for an ageing society in the autumn of 2007.

  • the ability to maintain independent living, while being supported with health and care services where needed

Independent living - government will ensure there is greater room for older people to shape the social care services and support they want by implementing the new accountability and outcome framework for health and social care. Choice and control is being extended through direct payments and developed further through piloting of individual budgets. DH will improve delivery of social care through among other things a common assessment framework (CAF) for people with long term needs. CLG will develop the Supporting People programme providing housing related support to older people.

Coordinating policy and delivery

DWP will

  • ensure coordinated policy and delivery across the whole PSA engaging with officials across government, relevant organisations, and government offices negotiating effective LAAs. Support will continue for the Government Office Ageing network.
  • develop and disseminate a model of transformed services for older people drawing on findings of pilots (LinkAge Plus, Individual Budgets and Partnerships for Older People) and linking with other transformation teams, ie pensions, personalising social care
  • implement a cross-government Opportunity Age communications strategy
  • work with Better Government for Older People and others to involve older people in developing national policy
  • ensure better coordination and use of research findings to inform better policy and delivery. It will support the establishment of UK Age Research Forum and the implementation of the New Dynamics of Ageing research programme, and disseminate high quality evaluation reports of pilots.

Involving older people in service design and delivery is an important lever for improvement in local areas. Local areas will be expected to have arrangements in place for engaging with, and reporting to, older people, such as Older People's Forums linked to Local Strategic Partnerships and Better Government for Older People.




home >> Election 2005  Queries to: webmaster@cpa.org.uk