HC Deb 26 March 1998 vol 309 cc245-7W
Mr. Ivan Lewis

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the Better Government for Older People Programme. [36622]

Mr. Kilfoyle

Better Government for Older People is a new, national Government-led programme to improve public services for older people and give them more say in how those services are run. It is part of a series of Government-wide initiatives to test new ways of improving the delivery of services and programmes.

Its aim is to work with older people to provide them with: Clearer and more accessible information on their rights; More say in the type of services they can get; Simplified access to services; Improved linkages between different agencies; and Better opportunities to contribute to their local community.

As a first step, the Cabinet Office (OPS) is producing "Passport 50+: Your Practical Guide to the Law"—a document covering older people's rights in relevant areas including healthcare, pensions, and benefits, housing, safety/crime, travel and leisure. This is being developed in partnership with the Citizenship Foundation and Age Concern, with commercial sponsorship from SAGA and Guardian Insurance. The "Passport 50+: Your Practical Guide to the Law" will be published in June. Copies will be available in bookshops and circulated by Age Concern, SAGA and the Anchor Trust on their own networks.

Secondly, the Cabinet Office (OPS) is leading a consortium including the Warwick University Local Authorities Research Consortium, Age Concern, the Anchor Trust and the Carnegie Third Age Programme to develop, test and evaluate how we can take better account of older peoples' wishes in the delivery of public services-to make those services more user-friendly, and to help older people remain independent for longer.

This will be based on 28 local pilot projects across the UK. Each pilot will be led by a local authority, but all will include a wide-ranging partnership with other agencies such as health trusts, the police and voluntary groups, as well as older people themselves. They will show how by working across sectors, services can be delivered in a seamless and more-cost effective way. The pilots will employ a range of different strategies including: greater use of information technology; new one-stop shops; improved information; new user groups of older people; and looking at ways of giving older people a greater say in decision making processes.

The pilot authorities are:

  • England
    • Bolton Metro
    • Bury Metro
    • City of Coventry
    • Devon County Council
    • Hartlepool Borough Council
    • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
    • London Borough of Hackney
    • London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
    • London Borough of Harrow London Borough of Lambeth
    • Middlesbrough Council
    • City of Newcastle upon Tyne
    • North Yorkshire County Council
    • Nottinghamshire County Council
    • Oxfordshire County Council
    • Sheffield City Council
    • Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
    • Warwick District Council
    • Watford Council
    • Waverley Borough Council
    • Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council
    • City of York
  • Scotland
    • Scottish Borders Council
    • South Lanarkshire Council
    • Stirling Council
  • Wales
    • Isle of Anglesey County Council
    • Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council
  • Northern Ireland
    • North Down Inter-Agency Partnership.

The pilots, which will be launched at a conference in London on 5 June, will initially run for two years.