Global debate on care crisis, 8-11 July 2010

Monday, 12 July 2010

Caroline Waters OBE, Director, People and Policy for BT Group and Chair of Employers for Carers, spoke at the 5th International Carers Conference 2010: New Frontiers in Caring, at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on 9th July 2010. Drawing delegates from all over the world, the event was addressed by HRH The Princess Royal and Andrew Lansley CBE MP, Secretary of State for Health.

Hosted by Carers UK in association with the University of Leeds, the conference featured, among others, eminent speakers from Japan, Europe and the USA.

At the conference more than 400 delegates from over 20 countries debated the global challenge of caring for an ageing population, with key international speakers from business, health and technology sectors. By 2050, those in middle age will be 3 times more likely than now to be responsible for caring for many of the 2 billion elderly[1].

At the conference the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, set out key principles for the forthcoming commission on social care. The Coalition Programme for Government included a commitment to establish an independent commission to report within one year. He said that a White Paper would follow the commission, in the autumn of 2011 and set out the key principles for the commission - prevention, protection, partnership and personalisation.

For the first time, this weekend, carers from across the world were able to watch and listen to live broadcasts of this international event and hear interviews with key speakers and expert analysis from the Carers World Radio Team. There was also a dedicated chat room, email and telephone so that carers who were unable to attend can contribute and give their views. The live broadcast and chat rooms were available at www.carersworldradio.com from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July.

[1] World Population Ageing (2007) United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Xxviii Executive Summary,  www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WPA2007/ES-English.pdf