Pensions,Quality of Life,Work and Retirement

The Actuarial Profession, Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ.

16:00 for 16.30 start, 25th April 2012.

ILC-UK was delighted to be working with Alliance Boots and the University College London School of Pharmacy to explore why public health has just got ‘personal’ and if such a trend will yield cost savings or cost some groups of society or sections of the economy more than others.

The event also marked the launch of a report produced by Professor David Taylor and Dr Jennifer Gill from the UCL School of Pharmacy, supported by Alliance Boots entitled ‘Active Ageing: Live longer and prosper? Towards realising a second demographic dividend in 21st century Europe’.

The debate focused on the balance between encouraging individual accountability and accepting collective responsibility for achieving longer lives and the consequent implications for health outcomes and cost.

The Coalition Government (like its predecessors) is trying to move away from the ‘nanny state’ towards ‘nudging’ people in the direction of choosing healthier behaviours.

Few people would question the desirability of encouraging more informed personal decision making to prevent avoidable illness. But too much reliance on individual choice and responsibility could fail those most at risk and potentially impose needless costs and losses on individuals, their families and the wider community. Promoting the behavioural and cultural changes needed to deliver better public health and keep NHS and social care costs as affordable as possible remains a pressing and complex challenge.

Subject areas discussed included:

  • The philosophical and political underpinnings of public health policy, including: social solidarity, fairness, entitlement, risk and personal responsibility. Are we in danger of unravelling the principle tenets of the Beveridge model welfare state in ways which may not only disadvantage the most vulnerable, but may in time increase financial pressures on other sectors of society?
  • Determining the boundaries of personal and societal level responsibility, and the legitimate as opposed to illegitimate need for publicly funded care and support. In areas ranging from smoking cessation to reducing the threat of an obesity driven diabetes epidemic, communities have to make tough choices between limiting risks and accepting the consequences of personal, social and corporate freedom.
  • The impact of current trends and possible future policy decisions in areas ranging from the costs of health and life insurance to the price of pensions for individuals and society.
  • The role of private employers in promoting and requiring healthy living.
  • The winners and losers if the trend towards personal responsibility continues, with particular regard to older people and disadvantaged groups and what impact could this trend have on the cost of care?

Agenda from the event:

16:00 – 16:30 
Registration and tea

16:30 – 16:40 
Welcome and introduction from chair, Baroness Sally Greengross

16:40 – 17:05
Professor David Taylor, Professor of Pharmaceutical and Public Health Policy - School of Pharmacy, UCL

17:05 – 17:30
Professor Nick Bosanquet, Professor of Health Policy - Imperial College London

17:30 – 18:25 
Panel Debate and Q&A

  • Tricia Kennerley, Group Healthcare Public Affairs Director - Alliance Boots
  • Martin Green, Chief Executive - English Community Care Association
  • Open debate

18.25 – 18.30 
Summary and close from chair, Baroness Sally Greengross


A copy of the report can be found here

Presentation slides* from the event can be viewed below:
* Professor Nick Bosanquet's slides are currently not availabe for public distribution