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'IT is key to efficiency in elderly care'

15th November 2006

The authors of a recent study have said that up-to-date IT systems are essential for improving efficiency within the adult social and healthcare sectors.

According to Tola Sargeant and Eric Woods, from the technology consultancy Ovum who carried out the study, a considerable extra burden is being placed on the social care sector through the stretching if IT resources.

In a summary of the report's findings, Ms Sargeant and Mr Woods said that a business mentality towards the management of social care services for older people has "a clear role to play" in improving efficiency.

"An ageing population is increasing demand for health and social care services while available resources and funding are set to come under increasing pressure," they state.

The Ovum researchers cite figures from the King's Fund review of social care, carried out by Sir Derek Wanless in March 2006, to show that the number of people aged above 85 in the UK is ser to increase by two-thirds over the next 20 years.

"This will put considerable extra burden on the social care sector, and increase costs considerably," added the summary.

Britain's ageing population is the subject of renewed and ongoing debate, with concerns and repercussions ranging from pension provision to workplace ageism legislation.