Four charities have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to appoint a Minister for Older People to end the “scandalous abuse and neglect” of hundreds of thousands of OAPs.
Founder and president of The Silver Line, Dame Esther Rantzen, Age UK, Action on Elder Abuse and Independent Age said a Cabinet appointment was urgently required to represent Britain’s pensioners, the Express reported.
Dame Esther said: “The needs of older people are sliced up between departments. Look at the muddle of social care, still not sorted in spite of all the promises. Older people are being blamed for being bed blockers in hospital and house blockers in communities when there is nowhere safe and economical for them to live.”
In November, Age UK revealed that around 1.5m elderly people have unmet care needs. While there is no Cabinet minister for the elderly, Scotland has a Minister for Older People and Wales and Northern Ireland have a commissioner for older people.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, (pictured) said: “Older people’s lives are affected by decisions made in almost every Government Department, but there is no one Minister or group of civil servants dedicated to ensuring their needs are understood and Government policy is framed with them in mind.
“From bank branch closures to the parlous state of social care, there’s plenty of evidence of Government being tone deaf to the reality of older people’s lives.
“It’s high time this changed and the Government took action to ensure older people’s needs and interests are better represented and understood within how Whitehall works.”
A Government spokesman said: “Issues specifically affecting older people are already covered by Cabinet ministers across departments, including the Home Office and Department for Health and Social Care.”
Caption: Sophie Andrews, CEO of The Silver Line; Dame Esther Rantzen and Age UK CEO Steph Harland.