Gordon Brown: An ageing population demands another revolution in healthcare

Share
Related Topics

Too often the change to an older society is seen by our sometimes youth-focused culture as a threat or a burden. As a country we need to recognise that it has the potential to be a far more positive change affecting not just our public services but also the shape and character of our society. For our families, I believe it can be a change for the better.

Opposing reform is the fiscally irresponsible course of action at a time when we must be looking to ensure that every pound, whether public and private, is used wisely – when failure to act increases the costs of ageing and simply wastes money. We know also we are not asking for the impossible: already a number of pioneering local authorities and PCTs have achieved great things – providing dignity and support at home, reducing unnecessary care elsewhere, and reducing overall costs too. In places as different as Knowsley on Merseyside and the Isle of Wight off the south coast they have shown the way in what can be done – with highly effective partnership working between NHS and local social care practitioners, overcoming traditional demarcations between professionals and the services they offer, and putting people first.

It would have been easy in 1948 for government to concede meekly that our public services and welfare systems could not be a priority in such times. But they kept to their vision. We know what they achieved. An NHS that delivers quality, equity and cost-effectiveness in health care: a remarkable and internationally lauded achievement we must now match more widely – for the better care of our ageing society.

Today the challenge could not be greater. We face a clear choice between: reform and a radically improved health and care services with guarantees that meet the need for more, better, and more personalised care at home. The alternative – rejecting our guarantees for personalised care, undermining high standards in the NHS, and sending our country back into a spiral of poor and fragmented care, damaged growth, greater means testing and rising costs because they do not understand the needs and aspirations of families today. Our choice is clear. For personalised, reformed and guaranteed health and social care services that meet the aspirations of the people of Britain.

Taken from a speech given by the Prime Minister to the King's Fund yesterday

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

For all his faults, Russell Brand is utterly sincere, something politicians should emulate

Janet Street-Porter
 

Never underestimate the power of the National Trust

Boyd Tonkin
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss