David Oliver: making services fit for an ageing population

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  • Posted:Wednesday 27 June 2012

David Oliver, National Clinical Director for Older People at the Department of Health, discusses population ageing and attitudes to it, what older people and carers want and the solutions to providing better care.

From the conference: Achieving high-quality care for people with complex needs

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Prof Alisoun Milne

Prof Social Gerontology and Social Work,
University of Kent
Comment date
24 December 2013
I wholly agree with David Oliver's arguments and most of his proposed ways forward. The contribution of social work to addressing the needs of older people and their families especially those with complex needs including those who are 'necessarily dependent' is absent. Although most people acknowledge the role of social care and recognise that it plays a pivotal role in maintaining (some) older people at home almost no mention in UK reports or debates make mention of the roles and skills of social work. This is not the case in N America where social work with older people and their families has been the subject of massive investment (research, practice and education). I am involved in a group of 8 academics from social work departments in England and Wales with a special interest in older people. We are building up a national profile and have established links with The College of Social Work. A report we have written will be launched in early 2014. Social work needs a specific place at the table that is exploring the ways forward for addressing ageing related issues including the best way to (re)design support services. We are keen to be invited and have a great deal to contribute.

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