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PENSIONERS CAN HELP ELDERLY POLICY SHIFT

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Councils should appoint pensioner councillors as lead members for older people's services as part of a radical shif...
Councils should appoint pensioner councillors as lead members for older people's services as part of a radical shift in policy towards the elderly, according to the Audit Commission.

In a series of reports, it said councils, the NHS and other public agencies need to move from a critical care approach to older people, to one that promotes independence and involves service users.

This would require joined-up strategies across localities, tied in to councils' community strategies, and a greater public profile for the elderly within councils, for instance through a lead member.

Commission chair James Strachan warned: 'From 2005, public services will in significant part be judged by the Audit Commission on their ability to take the needs of older citizens into account.'

However the commission stressed the government needs to integrate its own policies across departments.

Older people - independence and well-being calls for partnership boards and a move from means-tested acute provision to universal community services.

www.auditcommission.gov.uk/olderpeople

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