SW AHSN in Partnership with the Design Council to Tackle the Social Challenges of an Ageing Population

A new health and social care programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund is set to give people in later life more choice and better services so they can enjoy a better quality of life.

This new initiative, initially based in the south west of England, aims to help improve the experience of ageing. The programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, will be delivered by the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN), Design Council, UnLtd and the Centre for Ageing Better.

The programme called Transform Ageing will bring together people in later life, social entrepreneurs and commissioners of health and social care services to define, develop and deliver innovative new solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of people in later life in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

Each partner brings a unique know-how and experience of supporting community-led responses to ageing challenges. The Transform Ageing partnership is made up of:

The South West AHSN is one of fifteen networks spread across the UK, established by NHS England to accelerate the development and adoption of innovation across the health and social care system. The Network is a membership organisation with partners drawn from a range of collaborating organisations across the South West.

Design Council is a charity and is recognised as a leading authority on the use of strategic design. We use design as a strategic tool to tackle major societal challenges, drive economic growth and innovation, and improve the quality of the built environment. We address all aspects of design including product, service, user experience and design in the built environment. We are the UK government’s adviser on design.

UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world. UnLtd resources hundreds of individuals each year directly through its core awards programme and hundreds more through a network of community-based partners.

The Centre for Ageing Better is an independent charitable foundation. It uses the results of major studies undertaken with people in later life, alongside existing research and the views of other organisations working in the field, to identify areas that are key to achieving a society in which everyone enjoys a good later life.

By applying design-led practices to services, commissioning and product innovation, the Transform Ageing programme will work to practically improve people’s lives, reduce the burden on the public purse and support services to provide sustainable later-life care for the UK.

Jon Siddall, Director of Innovation, SW AHSN said: “We are really excited to be part of this pioneering programme and working with our partners to support community-led responses to the needs of our population in the South West. We look forward to building partnerships with our NHS member organisations, local authorities, communities and social entrepreneurs to help put individuals at the centre of how we redesign support for people in later life.”

Rt Hon Prof. Paul Burstow, former Minister of State for Care, said: “I am excited to be involved in the Transform Ageing programme and the real difference it can make to people in their later lives. Transform Ageing offers a practical approach to making communities in the south-west more age-ready. Using design innovation that starts with the experience of people in their later lives and taps into the energy of social entrepreneurs and the insight of health and local government to devise practical solutions. Above all, this programme has the potential to deliver new, scalable and sustainable solutions that meet the needs and aspirations of our ageing communities across the UK.”

The programme will use collaborative design techniques to create a new generation of user-led health and social care solutions which tackle the real priority issues of people in later life.

Clare Devine, Executive Director, Design Council, said: “Design Council is proud to be part of such unique and exciting work. Through first-class research, collaborative working and rigorous design, Communities of Care will enable local communities to take charge of their care needs and generate tangible, creative and lasting solutions to health and social care challenges in the south-west and beyond.

“Our vision is that by creating services better aligned to real-life needs and issues, everyone’s experience of ageing will be improved.”

If you would like to find out more and get involved, contact transformageing@designcouncil.org.uk

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