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Two Norfolk areas deemed unprepared and underfunded for ageing populations

PUBLISHED: 13:19 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:19 08 June 2018

Two areas of Norfolk may not be prepared for ageing populations.  Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Two areas of Norfolk may not be prepared for ageing populations. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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Two areas of Norfolk have been dubbed as "crunch zones" which may not be prepared for ageing populations while at the same time suffering from an underfunded social care system.

Graph showing the current and predicted ages of people living in South Norfolk. Photo: Public Health EnglandGraph showing the current and predicted ages of people living in South Norfolk. Photo: Public Health England

South Norfolk and Broadland were both named alongside 11 other areas nationwide in a report from the Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP).

The report found the two areas were “most likely to see a social care crunch - an elderly population weighing on an underfunded care sector, in turn compounding financial pressures on NHS trusts”.

The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed in South Norfolk, 23.9pc of the population were over 65, around 31,787 people.

In Broadland, 25.3pc of people were over 65, around 32,232 people.

Graph showing the current and predicted ages of people living in Broadland. Photo: Public Health EnglandGraph showing the current and predicted ages of people living in Broadland. Photo: Public Health England

Nationally, 17.9pc of the population were over 65.

Without urgent help the CPP warned the districts could become risk zones - where the risk of death from avoidable or preventable causes at any age was much higher than elsewhere.

And to fix the problem the health economists recommended local authorities and the NHS needed to work together better.

The report said: “The NHS is set up to treat people when they are sick, but then sends them back out into the environment that made them physically and mentally unwell.”

It also pushed for more focus on preventative medicine to keep people out of hospital.

Through Norfolk and Waveney’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) - which brings together all the organisations involved in health and social care - leaders have been trying to put more focus on prevention.

Former Labour health secretary Patricia Hewitt, who heads up the STP, previously said she wanted to see more money put into prevention and earlier intervention across the health service, which is cheaper than treatment.

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council is looking to reduce the demand on residential care by finding ways to keep people independent and in their homes.

If current trends continue and the proportion of people living in care homes remains static the estimated need in Norfolk by 2036 will be 17,949 beds - 8,028 more beds than the current supply.

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