The newly appointed Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan MP, will give a special address at the housing-with-care ARCO conference on 3rd November.
Keegan was recently handed the role of Care Minister by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at a time when social care reform is high on the Government’s agenda. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for better care options to support older people and keep them healthy for longer.
The conference is being hosted by the representative body for the housing-with-care sector, ARCO, which is taking place from 3rd-4th November in London, and comes at a moment when there are growing calls for a new cross-government taskforce on older people’s housing and care.
MPs from four different parties urged the Government to consider setting up a task force at a Parliamentary debate on housing-with-care in July. This followed an open letter to the Prime Minister in March, signed by over 40 MPs, Peers, academics, charity and private sector leaders, which called on the Government to make the 2020s the ‘decade of housing-with-care’. This has been followed by dozens of Parliamentary Questions from MPs of all parties calling on the Government to act.
On the agenda at the What Next? 2021 conference will be the evolving landscape for housing-with-care over the last 18 months, the importance of clearly defining the sector, ways to create meaningful policy change, and ensuring a zero-carbon future for housing-with-care.
Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said, ‘The pandemic has shown the need for a greater variety of care options for older people so they can stay healthy and independent for longer, and we look forward to hearing the Minister’s plans to make this a reality.
‘We urge the Government to move forward with proposals for a cross-department task force on housing and care options for older people as soon as possible.’
Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group and Chair of ARCO, said, ‘It’s great that we will be hearing from the new Minister for Care, because we desperately need to see Government action to help the housing-with-care sector to flourish, as part of wider social care reforms.’
Visit the ARCO website for more information about the forthcoming conference.
In the next issue of CMM Magazine, Michael Voges will be sharing his comments and opinions on how the house with care sector is viewed and defined by Government and other organisations.
In other news, Skills for Care has published its new report today: The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England.