The Mark Murphy Show

Today I was interviewed on Mark Murphy’s show ahead of the BBC One Panorama Programme with Dame Joan Bakewell tonight, talking about our aging population, who is going to pay for their care and some of the initiative ways people are taking care of themselves.

Tonight they will discuss the national figures and I suspect it will make for worrying reading, in Suffolk what we know is that today there are 715,000 people living here, 140,000 some 19% are aged over 65; 40,000 6% of us are aged over 80. Today 10,000 people live with dementia Suffolk.

By 2015 the number of people aged over 65 will have increased to 169,000, rising to 211,000 by 2025 – an increase of 50%; the number of people aged over 80 will have increased to 46,500 rising to 67,000 by 2025 – an increase of 63% and by 2015 the number of people with dementia will have increased to 11,700 rising to 16,000 by 2025 – an increase of 60%.

It is too easy to think we face an overwhelming challenge, but as I said to Mark with all of this in mind we are working hard to work out ways Suffolk can be at the forefront of aging well.

If we are to succeed, we must make essential changes that could amount to revolutionising the way in which we offer care and support to Suffolk’s older people in future.

To start with Suffolk County Council has to change, last September we launched the New Strategic Direction because despite the then Labour Government saying KEEP CLAM and CARRY ON, we knew cuts and big ones at that were coming our way at a time when we also know we need to do something radical to address our aging population.

Different Councils are starting to talk about how they are going to deal with the coming cuts many are talking about becoming more efficient which whilst we will continue to be more efficient we know that other Councils have not been on the sort of efficiency journey we have been on since the Conservatives took control of the Council in 2005, we have saved over £60M of operational costs and are now rated as the second most cost efficient County Council in England and so we cannot find the savings that way.

That’s why we are changing through the New Strategic Direction vision.

That’s why we have launched Suffolk Flexicare which is about all local public services and providers looking at our whole care structure from housing to health care with all of Suffolk’s public bodies engaged in this work.

That’s why we are launching Suffolk Circle to change people’s perception of help and networking, support not charity.

That’s why we are working on new ways for our strong third sector, charities, community groups and social enterprises to be empowered to delivery services.

Beyond the national debate about how we pay for care for our aging population, beyond the demographics, we are determined that Suffolk shall be at the front of changing the perception of getting older and of caring.

Maybe just maybe tonight the programme will touch on the very embryonic thoughts about the value of caring, not just the unbelievable difference you can make to the life of another person whether they be your partner or parents but to the economic success of the country. In Suffolk there are 98,000 carers and if they stopped caring tomorrow the county care services would collapse, conversations about how we as a nation value that care is really important, conversations are just starting up around this and I hope the Royal Commission takes this debate on board.

I hope tonight’s programme picks up on the first conversations around, how we as a nation, value carers and encourage caring for another as a worthwhile profession; in short, how do we recognise that without making payment which we simply cannot afford.

Professor Heniz Wolff calls it care4care and we are very keen on this debate, its very very early days but we are working on it , so you heard it here first, Suffolk care4care, as with all the very best thinking we are determined that Suffolk should and will be at the forefront of such things. 

But what is care4care well it’s the theory that for every hour you spend caring for another, whoever that is, you bank that hour and one day if you need care yourself you can cash it and another person provides the care you need for free in the knowledge that they are banking that hour as well; and because everyone is giving of their time freely it cost the county nothing beyond the administration. Sounds simple, but is in fact full of if’s, but’s, and maybe’s that make it a very complex thing indeed, but we are working on it.

So, there you have it in a nutshell, Suffolk has an aging population and is getting less and less funding from Central Government to deal with it; but we are working on it, with Suffolk’s New Stratergic Direction; with Suffolk Flexicare; with Suffolk Circle; with Suffolk’s care providers and the third sector and long-term with all of us here in Suffolk working towards the Bigger Society David Cameron is talking about nationally and that’s what I told Mark Murphy this morning.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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