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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

University of Southampton to conduct research to help shape the UK’s future health and social care

Published: 21 December 2009 Origin:  Social Statistics and Demography

The University of Southampton is about to embark on a unique piece of research into future supply and demand of health and social care for the UK’s ageing population.

Older people are the major users of health and social care services and the number of them in our population is growing. In 2001 people aged 65 and over formed 1 in 6 of the UK population, this figure is predicted to rise to 1 in 5 by 2031.

“The increase in the number of over 65s is leading to a two way pressure on care services. Demand is increasing, while the supply of care workers is decreasing, as the workforce gets older,” says Director of the ESRC Centre for Population Change at the University of Southampton, Professor Jane Falkingham .

“This will be the first piece of research to deal comprehensively with both the supply and demand sides of both health and social care. Our world class interdisciplinary team recognises that these two elements are intrinsically linked.”

Researchers from four of the University’s leading international research centres ( Centre for Research on Ageing ; ESRC Centre for Population Change ; Centre for Operational Research, Management Science and Information Systems ; and Institute for Complex Systems Simulation ) will work together for the first time to collate and analyse data on a range of factors influencing health and social care, including population, ageing, disability, disease, new technologies, income and wealth. Their findings will be used to inform policymakers and help make decisions about future social care provision.

The five-year 3.3 million-pound project is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of a larger initiative to develop the application of ‘complexity science’ to real-world problems.

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