Only one in four social services departments look set to meet
the government deadline to appoint a champion for older people,
writes Gideon Burrows.
A straw poll of 20 social services departments UK-wide revealed
only five who could provide the name of an appointed ‘older
person’s champion’, in each case selecting a local
Three departments said they were in the process of appointing
someone, and 12 said they knew nothing about the initiative,
despite a requirement to make an appointment by 30 June.
The National Service Framework for older people requires social
services departments, health departments and NHS trusts to appoint
a ‘champion’, to look after the interests of older
Older people’s groups accused the department of health of
failing to support the initiative properly.
An Age Concern spokesperson said the department had not issued
sufficient guidance on the role of older people’s
Meanwhile the National Pensioners Convention questioned the idea
of older person’s champions if they were not backed up with
Jonathan Ellis, health policy officer at Help the Aged, added:
“It does beg the question about the commitment of an organisation
if they haven’t appointed someone to lead on older
people… they are an important part of the success of
implementing the rest of the national service framework.”