In his annual report published 10th November 2023, Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer (CMO) says there needs to be a focus on ways to maximise independence and minimise the duration of illness from old age until the end of life. Quality, pleasure and independence should be the main goals.
We need to recognise and reflect in policy and medical practice where older people are concentrated geographically, increase clinicians’ generalist skills, improve mental health provisions and make it unacceptable to exclude older adults from research because of older age or common comorbidities.
According to the report the geography of older people in the UK already shows a strong skew away from metropolitan areas and towards more rural, coastal and other peripheral areas, and is likely to become even more so in the future. Efforts to reduce sick leave and provide more comfortable environments for people with disabilities should focus on areas of the country where the need is greatest. Health and NHS services need to be expanded in these areas.
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