Health and social care challenges facing the south of England explored in public panel event

22 Mar 2018

How can regional health and social care services work together to support older people in the future? This significant challenge is the focus of a seminar hosted by the University of Winchester and the Southern Policy Centre on Thursday 22 March at the University.

The seminar, sponsored by the University and local legal firm Paris Smith, features expert speakers from The Centre for Ageing BetterHampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust and Hampshire County Council. It marks the start of a programme of work to look at the future for older people in the Central South.

The discussion will be chaired by Professor John Denham, Director, Southern Policy Centre, and expert speakers include Lord Geoffrey Filkin, Chair, Centre for Ageing Better; Alex Whitfield, Chief Executive, Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust, and Graham Allen, Director of Adults' Health and Care, Hampshire County Council.

By 2039 the Central South will be home to nearly 1.8 million people over 65 years of age, nearly 700,000 more than live here today. In 25 years they will make up one in four of the region's population.

Whilst this provides an opportunity for our communities to benefit from the knowledge, skills and experience of older people, it will also put real pressures on our health and social care services. Key challenges include:

* There will be more people with disabilities or debilitating conditions: more than 150,000 people could be living with a diagnosis of dementia, for example.

* If they are to live independent, fulfilling lives older people will also need more help with daily tasks - from shopping to housework or managing their finances.

* There is a risk of isolation and loneliness: if current trends continue then more than 800,000 of our older people may live alone and be at risk of loneliness by 2039.

Colette Fletcher, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester, said: "These are challenges we must work together to meet if we are to ensure the Central South remains a good place for older people to live. As a values-driven institution with compassion and social justice at the heart of what we do, I'm delighted that the University is able to provide a forum to kick start a meaningful discussion about the issues faced in the south central region. I hope that the event will provide a springboard for future research collaborations between the University and the Southern Policy Centre."

Professor John Denham said: "The Centre aims to encourage debate about the public policy challenges we face and to help find solutions. The future care of and support for our older people is one of the most pressing issues for society and this seminar is an exciting beginning to what I hope will be a thorough discussion about our shared future."

Peter Taylor, partner at Paris Smith, said: "Paris Smith have always acknowledged the responsibility we have as a local business towards our community. We're pleased to support this important initiative and glad we can help shape the future of our health and social care services."

Health and Social Care: the Challenge Facing the Central South takes place on Thursday 22 March at 6.15pm in The Stripe, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR.

The event is free to attend but booking is essential. Book online here.

A briefing paper Health and Social Care: The Challenge Facing the Central South prepared by the Southern Policy Centre is available on the University of Winchester website at:

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