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  • Professor David Bell and Dr Elaine Douglas standing outside 10 Downing Street

    David Bell meets UK government health adviser at Downing Street

    CPC member, Professor David Bell, was last week invited to Downing Street to meet with William Warr, health adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

    He was accompanied by his University of Stirling colleague, Dr Elaine Douglas, to discuss arrangements for social care in Scotland compared with England. They were recommended to Mr Warr by The Health Foundation, following on from a recent research collaboration. Professor Bell and Dr Douglas were able to use their findings about the lives of those aged 50-plus from the Healthy Ageing In Scotland (HAGIS) study, as well as a current CPC project analysis linking longitudinal studies with administrative data, to explain the different route that Scotland has taken in respect of social care over the last 18 years.

    Professor Bell commented: “With very little progress having been made over the last 20 years, social care in England is high on the agenda for the Prime Minister, and one he is keen to address. Our work on the HAGIS study since 2015, in conjunction with more recent work on administrative data, has allowed us to understand the lives of those aged 50-plus in Scotland and compare them with those of older people across the world.”

    He continues: “This understanding is vital in improving the health and wellbeing of older people. It will allow governments to effectively plan services and support, promoting long, happy and healthy lives.”

    Professor Bell launched the HAGIS study in 2015, using CPC seed funding, alongside CPC member Dr Alasdair Rutherford. It was the first study in Scotland to follow individuals and households through time.

    The project, a major study of the health, economic and social circumstances of people aged 50-plus, was designed to enable future improvements to be made to the health and wellbeing of older people.

    HAGIS is part of a worldwide network of ageing studies co-ordinated by the US National Institute on Aging (NIA) and has been used as a comparison with findings from across the UK and around the world.

    Their work in the CPC research strand ‘Living longer and the changing lifecourse’ continues. Their project ‘Linking longitudinal studies of ageing with administrative data’ will provide an assessment of the value of admin data linkages and the role they may have in the future development of longitudinal studies of ageing. The project will systematically analyse and evaluate, for the first time, links between administrative data and a global ageing data repository containing harmonised data from the Health and Retirement Study, ELSA, SHARE etc. established by the University of Southern California. These studies cover more than 50 per cent of the world's population aged 50-plus and are linked to various administrative data on health, benefits, pensions, and so on.

    To find out more about the HAGIS study, visit the project website.

    Posted 31/01/2020 10:45