The government, Local Government Association and older people
charities are joining forces to create a one-stop shop for older
Launching Link-Age, pensions minister Malcolm Wicks was due to
announce this week that he wanted to provide a network for older
people to enhance independent living.
Plans include linking health and social care into a single
assessment process, giving older people a single point of access to
the care system and enabling social services to target care
Other services will include streamlining benefit services to
prevent duplication of information. Voluntary organisations will be
given more powers to take claims for benefits and verify
To be put out to regional consultation later this year, Link-Age is
a response to the government’s pledge in 2001 to provide better
joined-up services for older people.
LGA chair Chris Clarke said: “It is important to remember that
older people’s services is a very broad area and is not just about
dealing with the 20 per cent of older people who require assistance
from social services for their care requirements.
“There is a growing demand for additional choice for people who
need care and assistance to maintain independent living.”