Longevity im­prov­ing

… but will health­care sys­tem be ready to cope?

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

GIRLS born in the Chilterns have the high­est life ex­pectancy ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures for Eng­land and Wales.

Data re­leased by the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics show the av­er­age life ex­pectancy of a girl born in the Chilterns be­tween 2011 and 2013 is 86.4 years old.

The av­er­age Chilterns baby boy born be­tween 2011 and 2013 is ex­pected to live 82.2 years, the tenth high­est for males in Eng­land and Wales.

Women born in the Chilterns now live six per cent longer than those born in the area 20 years ago, when the av­er­age life ex­pectancy was 81.5 years.

Men’s longevity has im­proved even more – they now live 7.9 per cent longer than 20 years ago.

Across Eng­land and Wales the av­er­age life ex­pectancy is now 83 for women and 79.3 for men.

But to match long life­spans, health ex­perts have said we need to pre­pare our health­care sys­tem to cope.

Coun­cil­lor Noel Brown (Con­ser­va­tive), a mem­ber of the


Coun­cil­lor Noel Brown health and adult so­cial care se­lect com­mit­tee on Bucks County Coun­cil, said: “As more of us live longer, we for­get this means there are more peo­ple who will need health­care and so­cial ser­vices.”

There are projects in place al­ready, such as Preven­tion Mat­ters, which aim to help peo­ple at an ear­lier stage to en­able them to stay at home for longer.

Mr Brown added that there is also a dis­par­ity in life ex­pectancy in some ar­eas that needs to be ad­dressed.

“Projects like Well­be­ing aim to trial ideas in Che­sham and then take that to Wy­combe and Ayles­bury, work­ing with so­cial ser­vices and the Depart­ment of Chiltern Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea Cam­den East Dorset West­min­ster Rich­mond upon Thames Har­row South Cam­bridgeshire Hart Rut­land UA Work and Pen­sions. It’s about help­ing peo­ple stay health­ier and in­de­pen­dent.”

In the lat­est health re­view, the statis­tics pre­dict that the num­ber of peo­ple over 65 in the area will rise by 66 per cent in the next 20 years com­pared with 60 per cent for the re­gion and 54 per cent in the UK.

Mr Brown added: “We need to pre­pare as we don’t have enough so­cial care work­ers, and there is this fear of ap­proach­ing them and go­ing into a home. We don’t want that. We want health­ier peo­ple, liv­ing longer, but we need to have the re­sources for them.”


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