Research and analysis
Preparing for an Ageing Society: Evaluating the Ageing Well programme Parts 1 and 2 (RR807)
The Ageing Well programme provided sector-led support for local authorities in England to assist them in meeting the challenges of an ageing population.
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The Ageing Well programme provided sector-led support for local authorities in England to assist them in meeting the challenges of an ageing population. It aimed to address the challenges and opportunities of an ageing society facing local authorities and highlighted in various Audit Commission studies . It also built on previous Government initiatives such as the DWP’s LinkAge Plus  pilots and the Department of Health led Partnerships for Older People’s Project (POPPs). 
The support provided by Ageing Well focused on four delivery themes, namely promoting effective leadership, encouraging a strategic approach to ageing issues, involving older people and promoting joined up commissioning and delivery of services. It involved a programme of national and regional activity such as master classes and leadership academies in addition to more tailored support for those local authorities who requested it. The programme was delivered by the Local Government Association and funded by DWP at a cost of £4.6m and ran from July 2010 to March 2012.
Ipsos MORI was commissioned to assess the extent to which the programme met its objectives and to assess the progress local authorities have made in preparing for an ageing society. Specifically it aimed to identify the benefits of this kind of sector-led programme as a model for future support, including the production of legacy resources. Methods involved three online surveys of local authorities, qualitative research with a selection of case study authorities and analysis of data collected as part of the programme activity.
A key part of the legacy of Ageing Well will be to extend its reach to other local decision makers and influencers. While the focus of this research was on upper and single tier local authorities, the aim is to share learning more widely at district and parish council level. Early indications are that there is a strong interest at this level. Learning will also be shared with stakeholders including Government departments, the devolved nations and partner organisations such as the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing, the English Forums on Ageing, and members of the Age Action Alliance.
To ensure this happens DWP is funding two posts to disseminate and embed good practice and learning from the programme. These roles will also maintain contact with those councils who received bespoke support to be champions for the learning, tools and products from the programme. Another practical aspect of the legacy will be the dissemination of products and materials developed through the programme on the recently launched Ageing Well Legacy website  and Knowledge Hub.
Audit Commission (2008), Don’t stop me now - Preparing for an ageing population. Available at: www.audit-commission.gov.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/AuditCommissionReports/NationalStudies/DontStopMeNow17July08REP.pdf Audit Commission (2010), Under Pressure: Tackling the Financial Challenge for Councils of an Ageing Population. Available at: www.audit-commission.gov.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/AuditCommissionReports/NationalStudies/20100218-underpressure-nationalstudy.pdf
DWP (2009), LinkAge Plus national evaluation: End of project report.
DH (2010), National Evaluation of Partnerships for Older People Projects.
Ageing Well legacy website at www.local.gov.uk/ageing-well
Knowledge Hub at knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/web/ageingwell