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Cass Professor gives evidence to the House of Lords

Professor Les Mayhew invited to give evidence on the health and social care system

Professor of Statistics, Leslie Mayhew was recently invited to give evidence to the Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change at the House of Lords.

The purpose of the committee meeting was to determine how to make both health and social care systems better at preventing problems and have fewer crisis interventions to help manage the UK's ageing society.

Professor Mayhew was especially invited because of his experience and expertise on the area under discussion.

Earlier this year, Professor Mayhew published reports which highlighted some of the issues that will impact on the UK's ageing population.

At the meeting Professor Mayhew provided evidence referring to key findings and examples from his research. He argued that prevention was a key weapon in the armoury for meeting the challenges of an ageing society. However, prevention could take many forms from protective measures to improve health to changes in personal behaviours such as smoking cessation.

Professor Mayhew also published a study showing a shift in policy on care for older and disabled people could better support families in the UK. This could have the benefit of keeping more older people out of hospital to be cared for in better surroundings.

The report found that restructuring care and reconfiguring services could help families stay in work alongside caring.

At the House of Lords, Professor Mayhew explained his ideas on how the health and social care sector could improve their services to accommodate the pressures of an ageing society.

He said services needed to be more synchronised.
When a GP sees a patient, he or she has the option to either refer them to hospital, prescribe a social care package or whatever else happens to be needed at that point.

He also said that care workers who go on house visits should stay longer at their client's house as they could undertake more care tasks but also simple health tasks like taking blood pressure.

Professor Mayhew said: "An ageing population provides society with a number of challenges - the status quo is not an option. There is much that can be done to encourage healthier behaviours and encourage personal independence but once a person becomes frail and dependent the system must respond efficiently and effectively."

Also on the evidence panel were Andrew Bonser, Director of Public Policy, Alliance Boots; Professor Martin Knapp, London School of Economics Political Science and Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) and Ben Jupp, Director, Social Finance.

Professor Mayhew is a Professor of Statistics at Cass. He is Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Actuaries and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and a former senior civil servant.

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