To consider the joint report of the Directors for Adults and Health and Public Health, detailing, clear framework of ‘what works’ to promote healthy ageing set out by World Health Organisation and longstanding commitment from partners to work towards this. The key issues affecting older people in Leeds are understood and plans are in place to address these through the Age Friendly Strategy, citywide work relating to population health population and priorities identified to deliver the outcomes of the Healthy Leeds Plan.
The Board considered the joint report and associated presentation of the LCC Director of Adults and Health and LCC Director of Public Health which presented a clear framework of ‘what works’ to promote healthy ageing as set out by World Health Organisation and the longstanding commitment from partners to work towards this. The report outlined how the key issues affecting older people in Leeds are understood and the plans in place to address these through the Age Friendly Strategy, citywide work relating to population health and the priorities identified to deliver the outcomes of the Healthy Leeds Plan.
The report included a copy of the Age Friendly Leeds Strategy and Action Plan 2022- 2025.
The following were in attendance for this item:
Tim Fielding – LCC Deputy Director of Public Health
Helen Laird – LCC Head of Public Health
Jo Volpe – Chief Executive, Leeds Older People’s Forum
In introducing the report, The Deputy Director of Public Health outlined the overarching aim of Healthy Ageing was to create an environment and opportunities which support people to live well and work in later life.
The Head of Public Health emphasised that being well is a key requirement for healthy ageing. The “State of Healthy Ageing in Leeds” was published several years ago which detailed what we knew about the 50+ age range in Leeds, reporting on issues such as loneliness, health inequalities and workers in that age range; and identified gaps in access to transport and finance.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) produced a Framework for Healthy Living which set out eight domains that places could adopt to address to improve their structures and services to meet the needs of the population as they age. The domains broadly cover many of the wider determinants of health, including social factors and the built environment required to support healthy ageing. The Leeds Age Friendly Board included a broad membership from across the council and external partners and is the driver towards the Age Friendly ambition. The Board’s current Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan includes 6 domains which align to the WHO domains (wider determinants of health):
· Public and Civic Spaces;
· Travel and road safety;
· Active, included and respected;
· Healthy and independent ageing;
· Employment and learning.
Joe Volpe provided an overview of work undertaken to specifically address some of the themes in the Action Plan domains:
· Age Friendly Employers Pledge – LCC was one of the first Local Authorities to sign up to the Pledge and, noting the size of the health and social care workforce in the city, work is ongoing to expand this across other organisations in the city.
· Age Friendly Partnership – A system wide, place-based partnership that brings together the statutory, voluntary and private sectors to consider how to promote ‘age friendly’ throughout the city and address priorities and local priorities identified by older people and in local data.
The Board also received information on the role of the Neighbourhood Networks and the partnership work undertaken to address the Action Plan domains.
The work of the Falls Steering Group which undertook work to reduce harm from falls and the health and care system’s reaction to fall incidents was provided as an example of the type of work undertaken underneath each of the domains:
· Work to identify the key needs and services offered to 50+ age range to identify gaps in the offer and to map out services across primary care.
· Developing a pathway for falls services to encourage a consistent approach.
· Work with the Population Health Team to review fall incidents by area in order to identify and target resources.
· To undertake minor modifications to homes to prevent falls.
· Work to improve access for diverse communities.
· Work with Active Leeds to develop a model for strength and balance as a preventative measure.
The Board also heard that the State of the City event later this year will be an opportunity to discuss how to improve employment outcomes for people aged 50+.
During discussions with the Board, the following matters were considered:
· How to challenge and address divisive rhetoric which pitches the younger and older generations against each other. Being aware of the issue is helpful when considering media reporting and recognising this is not about frailty but recognising healthy living as we age. It was noted that Leeds Age Friendly Ambassadors had an ambition to create Age Friendly Ambassadors in younger people settings to address this.
· Acknowledging the impact of the financial challenge facing LCC and employers, a request was made for the Age Friendly ambition to be taken into account when considering the future of their organisations.
· The comments of Councillor Jenkins, Chair of the Age Friendly Board and Deputy Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health, and Active Lifestyles, were reported to the Board. He wished to highlight that older people should be viewed as individuals by the health and care system. Legislation prevented organisations from discriminating against people based on their age, however services offered by the National Health Service were age based rather than respecting the health and wellbeing of an individual, for example health checks ceased at 74, and screening also ceased at a certain age (bowel cancer at 74, cervical cancer at 71). The Board noted that screening limits were set nationally, and the reasons for having upper age limits were balanced between the harm and benefit of the screening process as diagnostic screening will screen a number of people, not all of whom will require further treatment.
· The Age Friendly Leeds ambition had been discussed and supported at a meeting of the Clinical Leads Network held 08/11/23.
· In respect of falls prevention, a pathway and screening process was in place in primary care so that if a person presents to their GP there is an opportunity for the GP to screen the patient in conversation and redirect them to the falls pathway if needed.
· The Board were reminded that some communities regarded their elders of 50+ with respect and this is why older people are often referred to as the over 50s. This cultural context should be remembered when promoting the Age Friendly approach throughout all Leeds communities.
· The need to ensure that Age Friendly work connected to the Leeds Carer’s Partnership.
· The need to ensure the Age Friendly work considered and prepared for those people currently younger than 50 with learning disabilities or mental health issues as they aged.
· The need to consider the exclusion of older people from some services, particularly in relation to digital access to services, and the impact of that exclusion. It was felt that older people’s digital access to services should be higher on the health and care agenda. It was noted that “digital” will be the theme of the next Equality Hub for Older People where those with responsibility for digital access and implementation will hear older people’s voices on the issue.
(Councillor Anderson and Councillor Dowson left the meeting during consideration of this item)
a) To note the update on current key issues relating to healthy ageing in Leeds, including the Age Friendly ambition and wider work across the system.
b) That the comments made during discussions be noted to
I. Provide direction on how the system can support and embed ambitions relating to Age Friendly and healthy ageing across the city; and
II. Provide direction on how the system can work even better together to support healthy ageing and secondary prevention across the city.