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Government's elderly stance condemned

22nd March 2006

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has condemned the government's failure to implement its proposals to improve the lives of the elderly.

The committee's July 2005 report had stipulated that the scientific understanding of the elderly and the ageing process had to be improved.

However, a follow up study released today claims that the government has failed to follow the committee's proposals, which included calls for better co-ordination of research and practical steps to lower winter mortality rates and better treat strokes.

Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, chair of the initial inquiry, commented: "The government has failed completely to respond. In fact the government's response has been issued by a department, the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), which refused to give evidence to our original inquiry, and knows nothing about the scientific aspects of ageing."

He added that it appeared the government looked upon the elderly as a burden rather than as an opportunity.

The committee is hoping to receive the backing of expert groups such as Help the Aged and the British Council for Ageing to put pressure on the government to change their attitude towards the proposals.