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16 Years of Home Shopping

16 Years of Home Shopping

Who did the shopping service affect?

The Home-shopping service was established to serve vulnerable adults, including those who have mental health challenges, physical disabilities, and sensory impairments.


When did this take place?

This has taken place over a 16 year period from 1992 to 2008.


Why was there a need?

10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old. The latest projections are for 5½ million more elderly people in 20 years time, and the number will have nearly doubled to around 19 million by 2050.

Within this total, the number of very old people grows even faster. There are currently three million people aged more than 80 years old and this is projected to almost double by 2030, and reach eight million by 2050. While one-in-six of the UK population is currently aged 65 and over, by 2050 one in-four will be.

The aging population brought about new demands for an innovative service that would allow vulnerable adult s to remain in the comfort of their own homes. This pioneering service was contracted by local authorities to deliver grocery shopping to the homes of older people.


What was the rationale for the methodology?

Much of today’s public spending on benefits is focussed on elderly people. 65% of Department for Work and Pensions benefit expenditure goes to those over working age, equivalent to £100 billion in 2010/11 or one-seventh of public expenditure. Continuing to provide state benefits and pensions at today’s average would mean additional spending of £10 billion a year for every additional one million people over working age.

Growing numbers of elderly people also have an impact on the NHS, where average spending for retired households is nearly double that for non-retired households: in 2007/08 the average value of NHS services for retired households was £5,200 compared with £2,800 for non-retired. These averages conceal variation across older age groups, with the cost of service provision for the most elderly likely to be much greater than for younger retired people. The Department of Health estimates that the average cost of providing hospital and community health services for a person aged 85 years or more is around three times greater than for a person aged 65 to 74 years.

Ref: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/key-issues-for-the-new-parliament/value-for-money-in-public-services/the-ageing-population/

The rationale was further reinforced after a 6 month pilot scheme with the London borough of Wandsworth. The pilot scheme confirmed the demand which lead to the commissioning of this essential service.


Where did this take place?

This took place across the South London region, covering the London Boroughs: Croydon, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Merton, Sutton & East Sussex County Council.


What was the impact of this programme?

Over an 18 year period PJ’s Community Services were delivering essential grocery items on a weekly basis to over 1000 service users, with a team of 100 staff and a fleet of 10 vehicles. It was reported that the service saved Wandsworth Council £1million in its first year.


Posted on

February 27, 2015


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