Annex 17: Service design and delivery
(see paragraph 38 of the report)|
276. As Annexes 7 and 16 suggested, the goal
of developing services for older people should be to support the
happy independence of older people.
Focusing directly on the needs of older people can be an effective
route to service delivery. Nick Leon, Head of Service Design,
Royal College of Art, told us that designing services should be
about taking a user-, customer- or citizen-centric approach, and
figuring out how to deliver a much richer and transformed user
experience, "instead of looking at how one simply configures
the service delivery resources in order to deliver what we have
today with a modest, simple improvement". He suggested that:
"If you design for the old, you can include the young. If
you design for the young ... you will almost certainly exclude
277. A focus on older people's needs is particularly
important when designing health services. Public service delivery
mechanisms should have as a key aim how services might best contribute
to preventive strategies in health and social care (see Annex
13), and, where possible, involve older people in their design.
A formal way to involve older people in the design and delivery
of health and social care would be to encourage their representation
on structures that have emerged from the recent reorganisation
of the health system. Annex 16 proposed a potential role for local
planners on Health and Wellbeing Boards. It is important that
older people's representatives also have a standing position on
Health and Wellbeing Boards, to ensure that the design of health
and social care provision meets older people's needs.
278. Urban planning is also important in ensuring
that older people have access to the services that they need,
and do not feel isolated. Housing developments suited to older
people, with gardens, entertainment, and medical or fitness facilities
are much needed.
Leeds City Council adopted a strategy that involved older people
in local planning, which alerted planners to issues that will
become even more pressing as the population ages.
Urban planning and building design should respond to the needs
of an older population. The provision of disabled access and
well-designed public toilets will be of growing importance.
279. Access to public transport, transport
routes, types of transport provided and parking restrictions should
all take the needs of older people into account, including considering
their level of access to shopping and entertainment facilities.
This will be especially necessary for older people who live in
280. Older people can find themselves living
at a distance from essential services and amenities, or living
on large housing estates where they can feel isolated.
We heard arguments that older people's housing ideally should
be situated in areas of high population density, where people
can walk to the shops, there is easy access to social activity
and there is good public transport.
Action is required before needs become more urgent, as the lead
time for such changes is substantial.
281. Providers of vital private sector services
accessed by older people should also consider how their services
should adapt to the ageing population. There is evidence that
lazy assumptions about older people's needs and desires mean that
providers of goods and services are missing out on the expanding
older consumer market, which is projected to grow by 81% on 2005
by 2030. However,
change is happening in some sectors. We were told by the Building
Societies Association that some building societies are adapting.
One in the north-west of England provides a drive-through branch,
because the majority of their customers are elderly and cannot
walk very far, but are drivers. Other branches have lower counters
to enable frail customers to sit down while they are taking their
money out or putting it in.
More fundamentally, however, there is a need to simplify financial
products catering to people who are planning for older age. The
products that provide for retirement, for example, are extremely
complex, and few people are able to judge between them properly.
282. The way that essential services are delivered
will also have to adapt to the ageing population. As more and
more services are delivered online, service providers should take
steps to ensure that older people, who might not be as computer-literate
as people from other age cohorts, do not suffer from inadequate
service provision. Though the evidence that the Committee
received is inconclusive about the extent to which current and
future older people risk being 'digitally disenfranchised', public
and commercial operators with a potential user or customer base
among older people would be wise to avoid introducing services
that are only available online, at least until the trends are
might consider supporting initiatives to provide education and
skills training for older people, not just for those who wish
to work in later life but also those seeking guidance on how to
keep up with a changing technological world. We heard evidence
that training and education have significant health and social
benefits for older people, because they help to keep people stimulated
and connected to wider society.
283. The continued growth of the country's
older population means that action to combat isolation, loneliness
and social deprivation among older people has acquired a new urgency.
The Government have a responsibility to support older people to
gain equal access to public and private services and to continue
to engage closely with the rest of society.
501 Q 501 (Len Street). Back
Q 507 Back
Alliance Boots. Back
Q 559, Q 558 Back
The Saga Group. Back
Q 575 (Dennis Holmes), Q 558. Back
Q 507; see also the All Party Parliamentary Group For Continence
Care report, Cost-effective commissioning for continence care.
Q 501, Q 503, Q 506 Back
Age Cymru;Q 558, Q 575 (Dennis Holmes). Back
Q 507 (Dr Mitchell). Back
Q 506 (Len Street) Back
ILC-UK, The golden economy-the consumer market place in an
ageing society, David Sinclair, December 2010. Back
Q 502. Such counters may also be wheelchair-accessible. Back
N. Barr and P. Diamond, Reforming pensions: principles and
policy choices, chapter 4. Professor Nicholas Barr, The Saga
Q 502, Independent Living, LITRG, Age UK. Back
Q 501 (Len Street). Back