A MEETING to hear about the future of health and social care in the region will be held in Winchester later this month.

With a rapidly-ageing population the pressure is growing to unit the NHS and social care provision to cope with growing demand and the chronic issue of bed blocking.

By 2039 over 65s will make up a quarter of the population, up from a fifth today.

Winchester University and the Southern Policy Centre have assembled a panel of experts, chaired by Winchester and Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine, a junior health minister, to explore one of the greatest challenges facing society, meeting the needs of an ageing population.

The issue is not just one for stretched public services. The health challenges older people face can put pressure on families, communities and on our economy. Family carers may need to take time off work, face financial pressures and may even themselves become ill through the stresses of caring.

Confirmed speakers are Lord Filkin, chairman, Centre for Ageing Better; Alex Whitfield, chief executive, Hampshire Hospitals’ Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, and Graham Allen, director of adult health and care at Hampshire County Council.

There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion after speakers’ presentations. The aim is to further debate and improve understanding of the issue.

The seminar, Health and Social Care: The Challenge Facing the Central South, will be on March 22 at 6.45pm in The Stripe, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road.

It is free to attend but you must register. Email public.lectures@winchester.ac.uk or call 01962 827632.