Pan-Northern Ageing group set up across 15 million population
A task force including the Innovation Agency has been set up to look at the most effective strategies for active and healthy ageing across the North of England.
The Active and Healthy Ageing North Operations Executive will make sure the region maximises opportunities to implement and scale up the latest and best research and practices on ageing across its 15 million population.
The group was set up in response to the awarding of three star ‘Reference Site’ status for four North areas from the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.
This means the four areas, represented by the Innovation Agency, AHSN for the North West Coast; North Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (AHSN); East North Cumbria AHSN with Newcastle University’s Centre for Ageing and Vitality; and Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, have demonstrated an innovative approach to healthy ageing with evidence of the impact of their work on patients’ health.
The Innovation Agency is involved in an NHS ‘Test Bed’ in Lancashire and Cumbria, in which the NHS has partnered with companies and social enterprises to support frail elderly people with dementia and other long term conditions, avoiding unnecessary admissions to hospital. It is also a partner in three other European programmes focussed on supporting healthy ageing through innovative technologies.
Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear said: “There is fantastic work under way in our region using the latest academic learning and innovative technologies, so that people can live longer and be healthier.
“The Active and Healthy Ageing North Operations Executive will accelerate the work across the North and help to address the issues of a growing ageing population and the demands that this makes on health and social care resources.
“We will pool our expertise to ensure that patients, their families and carers get the support they need to maintain a good quality of life and an appropriate level of independence.”
Dr Hakim Yadi OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Health Science Alliance, said: “The North of England has some of the most innovative researchers, centres and practitioners in Europe when it comes to active and healthy ageing, which was recently acknowledged by the 3* reference site status awarded across the North.
“We realise the significant potential and impact of bringing together this expertise into one place and the benefits it could have for healthcare workers and patients across the North of England, and ultimately across Europe.”
Martin Vernon, National Clinical Director for Older People at NHS England, said: “A North collaboration supporting and developing older people’s care at population level gives a way for AHSNs, and other organisations, to collaborate to explore what works. It means people can share learning systems and put innovations into place.
“For the local population the hope is this will help us to achieve our goal of best value for older people with living with multiple conditions and frailty and to help them wherever possible to remain healthy and independent.”