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Older People

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 8585, tabled on 1 November 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing the post of a commissioner for older people.

Answered on

5 November 2019

We recognise that it is important that the fundamental rights of people continue to be respected throughout their lives and that the specific needs of older people are recognised and respected.

We have previously considered the merits of introducing an older person’s commissioner. However, we believe that the duties that would be covered by such a role are covered by work elsewhere in the system.

Establishing an older person’s commissioners would also have significant costs associated with it. Net expenditure in the first year that Northern Ireland’s Older People’s Commissioner was set up was around £101,674 in 2011-12 and has since increased to £876,272 in 2017-18. Recent estimates indicate that there are around 33% more over 65s in England than in Northern Ireland, suggesting such a body would create significant annual costs.

The Government is committed to making this country one of the best places to grow old in.

Across the health and social care system in England there are already systems in place, that are able to listen to the voices of older people and respond to their concerns.