The Rt. Hon. Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Care, joined researchers from Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing (NUIA) and a pensions industry expert at a packed fringe event on Sunday at this year’s Liberal Democrats Party Conference.
The event marked the launch of a new report ‘How can we live better for longer?’ which highlights the newly established NUIA’s position as one of the largest and most powerful institutions on multidisciplinary ageing research worldwide.
At the event Mr Lamb remarked on how important the NUIA’s work is, commenting on the huge scale of the challenge presented by an ageing society. In particular he noted the need to find ways of coping with issues like dementia and long term care at a time when public finances are under increasing pressure.
Alongside Mr Lamb, the event panel included Dr Lynne Corner, Director of Engagement at NUIA; Dr Matt Flynn, Director of the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce; and Andrew Tully, Pensions Technical Director at retirement income specialist MGM Advantage.
Dr Corner raised the need to tackle inequalities in the effects of ageing, with a particular focus on preventative action to build financial and health resilience across the life-course. Dr Flynn remarked on the role employers can play in supporting older workers, as well as the need to accommodate younger workers with caring responsibilities. Meanwhile Mr Tully questioned whether the financial flexibility introduced by recent changes to pension legislation could provide solutions to the challenge of funding long term care.
Dr Corner, said: “The range of expertise represented at the event is indicative of the multi-disciplinary research being carried at the NUIA, Europe’s largest multi-disciplinary centre of expertise in ageing. As our new report shows, the work being done at the Institute brings together our international expertise in the basic science and mechanisms of ageing with insights into the future challenges of ageing societies. Engaging with policy makers at events like the Party Conference is an excellent example of how we are applying this for real-world impact.”
The Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA) is Europe’s largest multi-disciplinary centre of expertise in ageing. Its focus is at the Newcastle Campus for Ageing and Vitality, a globally unique, large-scale development bringing together world-leading scientific and medical research with innovative health care, industry and civic agencies, and the public. Its mission is to translate internationally renowned research into the biological, medical and psychosocial determinants of healthy ageing across the life-course into interventions that extend healthy lifespan, helping to ensure that everyone can live better for longer.”
The event was the third and final of Newcastle University’s contributions to this year’s party conferences. Previous events have included debates on energy market reform at the Labour Party Conference and on the rural economy at the Conservative Party Conference.
Professor Richard Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Internationalisation at Newcastle University, chaired the event. He said: “Universities like Newcastle are sources of unrivalled expertise and insight that can help politicians confront the enormous global challenges society faces. Our conference events on energy, the rural economy, and now ageing have allowed us to engage directly with influential politicians and the strength of our work will no doubt have an impact on the policy decisions they will go on to make. This is an essential aspect of our mission as a world class civic university and we are proud to have made such a strong contribution to all three Party Conferences this year.”
The report, ‘How can we live better for longer?’ can be downloaded via the website.
published on: 15 October 2014