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Posted May 26 2024

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Posted March 2024

Held at The Lights, Andover on Monday 18th March 2024 2pm – 4pm



  • Conservative MP Caroline Noaks for Romsey & Southampton North.

  • Labour MP Carolyn Harris for Swansea East

  • 3 gentlemen from the Equality Commission ( sorry names not noted! )

Those also present were:

  • Representatives from Gosport and Manchester OPF

  • Jenny & Brian Kay AOPF.

  • Independent Age members

  • NPC members from several parts of the country.

There was a lot of discussion about the use of computers and the difficulty the older generation can have. We are all being forced in every walk of life to go on-line to book appointments, order food, buy tickets or deal with claims etc. Banks in particular should be made to keep some form of counter service available even if this is by having a hub system open for bank assistants from all the banks that are closing in the area.


It was pointed out to the ministers that we need someone in Parliament for older people to champion our needs. MP Caroline Noakes said this is where a discussion on our worries was very useful to take back with her to use when she is involved in consultations.


Caroline asked if we would like a commissioner or an MP for older people and one person said she felt a commissioner would get things done more quickly as exampled by the Children's Commissioner that she had some knowledge of, but further discussion followed and most thought we needed both.


Problems with using ticket machines at rail stations or car parks was also suggested and the fact there were never staff around to help at stations, particularly if you were wheelchair bound, an alternative should always be available for those without Smartphone's.


Before long all phones are changing to digital, this will involve extra expense to purchase a Smart-phone, if you only have a home phone, also what happens to people with dementia or those that find a smart-phone too difficult to use. We still do not have complete coverage especially in the countryside, what happens to those people many of whom are elderly, if they have an emergency? The Ministers agreed.


Carolyn Harris noted in Wales they had managed to get an extra 25% uptake more than England for Pension Credit by concentrating on helping people with form filling.


The point was also made about the unfairness of women’s pensions in comparison to men’s but this subject was moving away from the technology theme being discussed and we moved on.


I was asked if I had any point that I wanted to raise and I mentioned the difficulty in getting an appointment on-line as this is the only method being used by many GP's practices rather than being able to simply phone the surgery. I also raised the point that so many appointments are now sent on-line or via a text message and it does not tell the patient what the appointment is for or which department. It should be acknowledged by hospitals that many patients have more than one health issue particularly as we get older and it can lead to many phone calls to track down which health department the appointment is from as we have found ourselves.


There was an opportunity for those present to make their points on film to be used by Independent Age.We hope the points raised will be taken notice of and the Ministers present will be able to influence “the powers that be!!!”

The ministers thanked us all and apologised because they had to leave earlier than planned for an unexpected vote in Parliament, They had arrived at 12 noon and had been able to speak to other group attendees over lunch, who had travelled long distances.


I felt Independent Age had achieved success in getting two MPs to our area but I was very disappointed that Brian and myself were the only representatives of the Andover area. I do not know how many other local groups for older people were contacted but they missed a great opportunity.


Report by: Jenny Kay Chair AOPF


Originally launched with £50,000, we now have an additional £50,000 to distribute to groups, not-for-profit organisations and charities to help residents with the rising cost of living.

Since being launched, just over £37,000 has been awarded to 32 organisations.

This includes Portway Infant and Junior Schools who received £1,000 each to provide families with essentials such as warm clothing and bedding and the Community Life Centre in North Baddesley who got just over £950 to create a warm welcome hub with free activities, refreshments, internet access and support.

Meanwhile, Broughton Parish Council got money to provide a warm space with free food, drink, fun games and activities for all ages; Balksbury Infant and Junior Schools each received £1,000 to provide breakfast packages for families and Roman Way Primary School received the same amount to help give out warm bedding and clothing during Winter.

There is now just under £63,000 left in the pot.

For the full article from TVBC please click HERE

Posted January 2023


Posted January 2023


Are you worried about the rising cost of living? If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it’s more important than ever to find out about the financial support that’s available. 

Many older people are missing out on money they’re due, so it’s worth checking whether you qualify for any extra support. 

Call our friendly Helpline team on 0800 319 6789 to arrange a free benefits check or try our benefit calculator.

Click HERE for the link to the website and calculator link, or call the Helpline number above.

Posted Nov 2022

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For the Centre for Ageing Better's Home Page, please click the logo above to see all the interesting articles on their website. 

Posted Nov 2022

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medConfidential defends the confidentiality you desire for your medical records.

Every use of data should be consensual, safe, and transparent. In matters of health and care, your relationship with your doctor is based on a very human spirit of confidentiality. Not the cold law of data protection.

Any large, formal system is bound to breach the Hippocratic Oath; “First, do no harm”. Data doesn’t care. In a purely digital world, a thing either is or it isn’t – with no nuance. Smaller systems, talking to each other, offer more discretion for the humanity of your situation. It is  why fax machines still work better than e-mail for the NHS.

Patients routinely find themselves in one of the following three real-world scenarios. Human situations get ignored by the database designers’ visions, forgetting the real world:

  • When a doctor cannot tell their patient the full story without causing distress – such as when at test returns a  likely false positive result.

  • When a doctor cannot tell another doctor something – such as where  they’ve been asked not to by their patient.

  • When institutions cannot tell doctors relevant details – e.g. in situations where there is “too much data, but no clear information”.

When you are between diagnosis and treatment, which (if any) of these three apply may change hour-to-hour. Human choices are a reality, usually ignored by by those who want to copy records across a lifetime.

medConfidential defends the confidentiality you desire for your medical records.

Hampshire County Council has lifted time restrictions on use of concessionary travel cards so older and disabled people can get to supermarkets when they are given priority access.

Lack of focus on elderly housing could cost billions

Lord Best, Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People, warns a lack of political action is opening the UK to an unforeseen crisis.

In an interview with the Elder Magazine, the cross-bench peer opened up on how the lack of focus on elderly housing could cost the UK billions if not addressed. It comes as social care policy has become a key policy battleground in the race for Number Ten. Click HERE to read the article.

After MPs voted through 'The Early Parliamentary General Election Bill', this was submitted to all political parties before the last election and the content remains the NPC position.

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Healthwatch and Public Involvement Association


Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)


The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) has launched today (29th October), marking a significant moment for community pharmacy.

This new service enables NHS 111 to refer patients to community pharmacies when they have a minor illness or need an ’emergency supply’ of a medicine that they have previously been prescribed. The aim is to help relieve pressure on the wider NHS and speed up patient access to treatment by making use of pharmacists’ core knowledge and skills.

The service is a key component of the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) settlement which came fully into effect this month.

Whilst referrals are currently only available via NHS 111, referrals from other settings, such as GP practices, are being piloted and are expected to be rolled out in the near future.


NB --- not all pharmacies are signed up to this yet.

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Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in Hampshire


PCNs are part of a nationwide NHS scheme aimed at bringing health and social care closer to people's homes and tailoring GP surgery services to meet the needs of local people.

A PCN consists of groups of doctors' surgeries working together with a range of other local organisations, including local authorities, community services, social care and the voluntary sector, to offer more personalised health and social care to their local communities.

PCNs are normally based in a community serving a population of around 30 - 50,000 people. There are 13 PCNs in the NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area.

Working more closely together, GPs will be able to strengthen their resilience, provide enhanced services to their patients and share experience, knowledge and skills. The network will help to reduce inequalities and enable practices and other health care providers to work collaboratively and ensure the most cost effective use of resources.

Patients have an opportunity to shape local health care services.

To get involved patients should join their GP Patient Participation Group; you can do this on line via your practice website or speak to the practice receptionist or member of the practice team. If you require any further information please contact

BBC Panorama programme on social care;  ‘Crisis in Care – who cares?’

Somerset council allowed the BBC’s cameras into their area to show the devastating impact of years of budget cuts and the extent to which balancing their books impacts the daily lives of the most vulnerable older people in our society.

The huge strains on services affects people like Rachel and her mum who lives with dementia. Featured as a story in the programme, Rachel relied on a local day centre for support but in the last round of cuts they didn’t get a decent replacement and now they struggle without vital respite. Families are having to fight tooth and nail to get what they are entitled to.

The prospect of the promised social care green paper ever being delivered is looking more and more unlikely as time goes by. For over two years now we’ve been promised action and seen nothing to back that up.

We have an ageing population and it is time to get real. More and more of us will need support when we grow older. It is time the Government and our next Prime Minister, tackled this problem head on.

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