Health Secretary Tackles Issue Of Ageing Population

In a recent live webchat, health secretary Patricia Hewitt spoke of her concerns and beliefs about the government’s future plans when it comes to the UK’s ageing population and elderly care.

“This is one of the most important issues facing the NHS and social care services,” she wrote. “We do have to get much smarter about how we use taxpayers’ money to support elderly people, for instance with integrated teams of social care workers, community nurses physios and others who can support people in their own home.”

Ms Hewitt added that the challenge ahead remained to be the need to think as a society about how to share the costs between individuals, families and society as a whole through taxes.

The health secretary also confirmed that the government had not yet finalised the comprehensive spending review, which will decide how much money it invests in the NHS after April 2008, before stating: “We [the government] have to make sure we can keep up with the needs of an elderly population and pay for all the new drugs that people rightly expect. “We know that better care for patients and better value for the public’s money go hand in hand,” she concluded.