Ken Nolan: Govt must respond to call for an older people’s minister
Caring Times, October 2012
A Lancashire care home group chairman has called for the Government to swiftly put into action the results of a Commons debate which calls for a minister for older people to be appointed.
Ken Nolan, chairman of Springhill Care Group, based in Accrington, is calling for the Government to follow-up and respond to the campaigners who presented a 137,000-strong petition demanding a minister dedicated to the needs of older people.
“We feel strongly that this should now be carried through the political process and adopted as soon as practically possible,” said Mr Nolan.
“This is a major issue and a dedicated minister at this time could make all the difference in handling some difficult issues of funding, services and governance around the quality of care across this sector.”
Mr Nolan said the appointment of such a minister was not unprecedented – the governments of Canada and Ireland already had dedicated ministers for older people. The UK already has a children’s minister, a minister for women and equalities and a minister for disabled people.
Last October Labour Leader Ed Miliband appointed Liz Kendall MP as shadow minister for care and older people. The Commons motion was carried by a majority agreement and campaign group Grey Pride is now putting pressure on the Prime Minister to act. Grey Pride says it is looking to encourage greater dignity for older people, reclaim growing old as a positive experience and break down the barriers preventing older people leading happy, fulfilling lives.