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The first European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing took place in Brussels on 9-10th of March 2015. Over 1,400 leaders from government, civil society, investment and finance, industry and academia discussed how Europe can transform demographic change into opportunities for economic growth and social development.

During the event participants explored how could Europe innovate health and care systems to meet the needs of a growing ageing population, and here are the suggestions:

  • Explore the creation of a European “innovation benchmark” of care systems and define policy initiatives that can reward innovation of health and care delivery.
  • Promote best practices to involve patients and carers in the design of a new care model, where they can convey their needs and their limitations. Collaboration of all actors, in partnership across the EU, is required to achieve the change that is needed to sustain health and care delivery.
  • Governments need to facilitate the integration of health and social care, either with legislative means or without. Focus and actions can be targeted at the 2-3 most important barriers, e.g. the incentives or reimbursement framework.
  • Anticipate the needs of caring for an ageing population in order to avoid skill gaps. Match those skill needs with existing EU instruments that are available to support skilling-up. The European Commission can support the adjustment of education and training programs, going beyond traditional professional boundaries. Consider deploying investment resources into education, building an appropriate skills mix, management and leadership education related to primary care. Prioritise areas with “critical needs” for example geriatricians and geriatric clinical pharmacists can support reduction of over prescription and wrong prescription.
  • Enable a transition from “Delivery pharmacy” to “Clinical pharmacy” environment. Strengthen the role of pharmacies to increase adherence to treatment and to reduce congestion in the use of GP/hospitals services

More information on other sessions and actions points can be found in the Summit report.