Based on predictions from the Office for National Statistics, the number of people over 80 in the UK will increase significantly over the next ten years with little increase in healthy life expectancy in prospect.

In turn this has huge implications for health and social care services.  The evidence is strong that we can reduce the risk of falls, prevent and delay dementia, disability, and frailty.  This will reduce the need for long term health and social care by approximately £45m per million of population* for every year of healthy life expectancy.

Live Longer Better is a national movement, a revolution if you will, led by Optimal Ageing Programme led by Sir Muir Gray , e-learning specialists Learning with Experts and Active Oxfordshire. Launched in Oxfordshire, the Live Longer Better movement is now being activated across the country.

The Live Longer better programme has three aims:

  • Increase activity (physical, cognitive and emotional)
  • Increase healthy life expectancy and compress the period of dependency.
  • Reduce the need for health and social care

Recently, Leap and Be Active Beds held a forum to bring together over 60 strategic partners from Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire to share knowledge and define practical ways of applying the evidence base to everyday decision making.

Networking discussion at Live Longer Better eventAt the event, we heard from Sir Muir Gray, leader of the Optimal Ageing Programme. Sir Gray couldn’t be there on the day but recorded his presentation. It was great to have him speak on behalf of the national network to help develop our local landscape and explain the value of ageing well.

Craig Lister, Associate Director Primary Prevention Lead for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, presented as an advocate for physical activity and movement to help people’s health to both prevent disease and to improve people’s health and wellbeing. He committed to putting physical activity at the heart of the prevention strategy for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

From the table discussions that followed we highlighted areas (against the seven strategic priorities of the Integrated Care Board) that we believe the network and the sector like the leisure, sport, physical activity, and movement sector can do to support those priorities and have a significant impact.

Chris Gregory, Head of Strategic Relationships at Leap, said:

“We’d like the Live Longer Better Alliance to help the Integrated Care Board achieve their strategic aims and objectives: ultimately that’s about improving the health and wellbeing of BLMK residents, but particularly helping people to age well”

The next Live Longer Better Alliance meeting is on 21st September. To become involved in the Alliance:

Milton Keynes partners: email Chris Gregory

Bedfordshire partners: email Jade Welding