Editorials

Ageing costs

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7163.896 (Published 03 October 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:896

Evidence to royal commission emphasises need for explicit standards and funding

  1. Tessa Richards, Associate editor
  1. BMJ

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    Providing and paying for long term care for Britain's ageing population is an urgent issue. The fastest growing sector of the population is the over 80 year olds. By 2030 a third of the population will be of pensionable age.1 Last December the government set up a royal commission to produce costed options for the next 50 years and report back. The commission has accumulated a mountain of opinion and evidence from some 2000 individuals and special interest groups concerned with care of the elderly. Last week it held its final public hearing to give them the opportunity to hammer home their messages.

    Much consensus was evident. Radical organisational change and new methods of financing are needed to reverse the effects of policies which have left old and vulnerable people hostage to confusing, inadequate, inequitable, and poorly coordinated services. The onus on elderly people to demonstrate what they can't do rather than what they can in order to get help is …

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