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Dame Joan on the importance of keeping our ageing population healthy

By: stagedoorscribbler - May 7, 2018

Dame Joan Bakewell. Photograph by Hattie Miles

As a population we are living longer. The number of 100 years olds in  Britain has grown fourfold in the past 30 years. Meanwhile the over 90 age group is also growing faster than ever. Latest estimates indicate there are 600,000 plus nonagenarians currently living in the UK.

But it looks like there could be trouble ahead for the healtn concerns of the elderly. Our old friend Dame Joan Bakewell who is 85 herself and a former Tsar for older people popped up on ITV's Peston on Sunday yesterday claiming that the NHS discriminates against older people.

The broadcaster, Labour Peer and sometime speaker for Clive Conway Productions said she had not been considered for a mammogram or a shingles vaccination on age grounds.

Her message was simple. The NHS, which she claims currently prioritises younger people for preventative screening, needs to wake-up to the value of keeping the elderly healthy.

During her Peston TV appearance, she asked: “So what is happening?” Is the health service saying, well the old they’ve had their lives we’ve got bigger priorities, it doesn’t matter.” 

She now fears that with limited NHS funds the old may be left to fend for themselves even though monitoring and preventative medicine has a huge role to play in keeping our ageing population healthy.