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05 October 2009

 

UK Advisory Forum on Ageing
Terms of Reference
 
Background
 
1. The Government published Empowering Engagement: a stronger voice for older people on 3rd February 2009. This was in response to John Elbourne’s independent report on older people’s engagement with government, and set out plans including:
 
·        “developing a UK Advisory Forum on Ageing to advise on cross-Government policy development for older people with a particular focus on the implementation of the Government’s updated Opportunity Age strategy;
·        establishing or developing Regional Forums on Ageing in each region;
·        putting in place regional coordinators to strengthen the network of local authority forums and to champion older people;
·        setting up processes to ensure the views of older people at a local level are systematically captured to inform Government at all levels;
·        putting in place a structure so that local and regional forums feed into and inform the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing;
·        developing communications channels to support discussion between all forums and the sharing of notable practice.”
 
2. The UK Advisory Forum on Ageing has a key role in this new framework. Empowering Engagement said that it should:
 
“provide advice and support for the implementation and development of the Government’s strategy for older people and an ageing society. This should include:
·        Reviewing progress on improving independence and wellbeing in later life, with reference to the relevant PSAs and national and local indicators.
·        Creating an age-friendly society - doing more to tackle stereotypes about old age, to change attitudes and to make sure that services are well designed and accessible to people of any age.
·        Encouraging better preparation for later life - both through planning for the future financially and encouraging people to think much earlier about what they might want and need as they grow older so they can plan and prepare at a much earlier stage.
·        Helping people to live well in later life - by creating opportunities for people to remain active in society throughout their life. This might be continuing to work, through volunteering or remaining active in their community or within their family.
·        Providing stronger protection and support - by doing more to join up services, promote take-up of benefits and make sure that people can get support and help from those that they trust when and how they need it.”
 
Purpose
 
3. The Forum will have a clear focus on helping to improve the independence, health and wellbeing of older people through effective engagement and addressing the opportunities and challenges of an ageing society. It will ensure that the views of older people are heard and responded to. Specifically the Forum will:
 
·        Advise on the progress of the relevant PSAs. This could include advice on additional steps government and partners need to take to improve the health, wellbeing and independence of older people;
·        Advise on how to achieve wider cultural and behavioural changes;
·        Advise on the implementation and development of the government’s refreshed Ageing Strategy for older people in the context of creating an age-friendly society;
·        Advise on how to improve engagement with older people;
·        Look forward, to new issues and challenges arising from demographic ageing of the UK’s population; and
·        Be outcome and action focused.
 
4. To ensure the arrangements take account of DWP and DH PSAs and also advise on the wider issues and challenges of an ageing society, the Forum should discuss the general themes of the Ageing Strategy and could establish sub-groups where necessary, to explore specific policy areas in more detail.
 
5. The Forum will play a significant role in supporting and informing new regional structures, which will strengthen and support a clearer and stronger voice for older people at regional and local authority forums. It will build links between forums in the devolved nations and the English regions.
 
Members of the Forum
 
6. The Advisory Forum’s membership includes 30 members and will consist of Ministers and representatives from devolved nations, older people and organisations of and for older people, local government organisations and regional forums on ageing. Each member is asked to appoint a substitute for those meetings where they are unable to attend in person. Notice of this substitution should be given to the secretariat ahead of the Forum meeting. 
 
Specific Activities
   
7. Review performance and identify common issues:
 
·         which will improve independence and well being of older people;
 
·        in creating a society for all ages; and
 
·        in improving engagement of older people at all levels of government.
 
8. Share examples of good practice between the English Regions and devolved nations. 
 
9. Evaluate current levels of engagement at local and community level.
 
10. Identify and promote approaches that give opportunity for engagement to more diverse groups including those whose voices are seldom heard.
 
11. Provide an external view on delivery and progress with PSAs 17 and 18 and associated indicators and activity generated through the Government’s Ageing Society Strategy.
 
12. Developing and testing approaches to encouraging better preparation for later life; identifying and promoting opportunities that enable people to remain active in society throughout their life.
 
13. Reviewing and developing the progress of action towards more joined-up services for older people.
 
Outcomes
 
14. Outcomes from the UK Forum should include:
 
·         reports to the MISC 35 Cabinet Committee; 
 
·        agreed actions for Forum members and any Forum sub-groups on specific issues;
 
·        assessments of progress with implementation of the Ageing Society Strategy and against the PSA 17 indicators, including identification of areas for action;
 
·        identification of actions to inform the work programmes of Government Offices and Regional Forums on Ageing; and
 
·        Sharing and publication of good practice.
 
 
Frequency of meetings
 
15. Meetings will be scheduled on a quarterly basis with further meetings planned for October 2009, January 2010, and April 2010.
 
16. Papers/Issues to be included as an agenda item for the meeting must be with the Secretariat, at least 10 working days prior to the meeting to allow distribution of papers to members one week ahead of the scheduled meeting date.
 
17. Forum meetings will be co-ordinated, supported and minuted by Forum Secretariat in DWP. Notes of the meetings will be agreed with the Chair and circulated within 10 working days of the Forum’s meeting.
 
18. Meetings will normally be a minimum of 3 hours duration and held in central London.
 
Governance
 
19. Secretariat Support for the UK Ageing Forum will be provided by DWP, this includes any financial support arrangements and logistical arrangements concerning the Forum meetings. The UK Forum on Ageing will be reviewed in 2011.
 
20. UK Ageing Forum attendees will be reimbursed for reasonable expenditure incurred in travelling to the Forum, or on specific Forum related business.
 
21. UK Forum discussions will be minuted and will be posted on the DWP and DH websites, this includes outcomes and action points arising from the discussions.
 



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