Organised by CMM Insight, Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA) hosted its annual care conference virtually for 2021, bringing local and national providers and decision makers together to communicate the latest updates, guidance and knowledge concerning the adult social care sector. The aim of the event was to acknowledge the unity and collaboration demonstrated by the sector during the pandemic and look ahead to the future on how the sector can continue to work together to ensure strength and governance beyond COVID-19.
Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of LinCA, welcomed delegates and said that, despite these times of great uncertainty and enormous challenge, the adult social care workforce has shown and continues to show tremendous mental resilience.
Making the headlines
As can be expected, the well-documented topics of reform and COVID-19 dominated the conference’s most frequently discussed talking points. The panel of expert speakers relished the opportunity to discuss their insights from the past 12 months and share their recommendations to kickstart a brighter future for social care.
Simon Bottery, of The King’s Fund, shared what the 12 key trends have been in social care over the past few years, how COVID-19 has affected the trends and what can be done about it. A few of these trends included: councils are paying more for care; more carers are receiving support but it’s mainly ‘advice’; and fewer people are receiving long-term care. Simon Bottery then tried to predict the future, although, admittedly, he acknowledged that’s a difficult task. The presentation ended with six immediate actions, outlining what the Government must prioritise if we are to strengthen the social care system.
Chief Executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green OBE, presented on ‘the new vision for social care’ and said how true integration is about how a person experiences care. He told the delegates, ‘Good social care enables people to live well.’ The Care England Chief Executive said the Government must not simply ‘amend’ the current system – but it must be new and reflect the current picture and meet the needs of the people. One delegate described the presentation as ‘positive’ and ‘empowering’.
A big thank you
Despite the enormous hurdles the sector has had to overcome since the start of the pandemic, sentiments of unity and shared values have manifested themselves in the continued delivery of services placing people at the heart of care. The panel were eager to reinforce their thanks to all key workers and rally together to challenge the Government to take appropriate action to recognise the true value of the adult social care workforce.
Vic Rayner, CEO at the National Care Forum, shared timely analysis detailing the most significant challenges facing the workforce now and post COVID-19, as well as suggestions for how employers can minimise the adverse effects of the virus’ lasting impact amongst the workforce. Open discussions also took place about mandatory vaccines for health and social care staff, including feedback from care workers about the steps employers could take to encourage universal uptake of vaccinations amongst their entire workforce.
Enhancing local futures
Like almost all local authorities in England, Lincolnshire’s social care landscape has changed dramatically during the pandemic, and the County Council has had to adapt its relationships with providers to ensure the maintenance of person-centred outcomes. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst for several local developments, such as digital solutions to address isolation.
Glen Garrod, Executive Director of Adult Care and Community Wellbeing at Lincolnshire County Council, summarised that the local authority wishes to build upon using technology not in only communities but also across health, social care and housing. Glen also spoke about recruitment and highlighted the importance of hiring a younger workforce and devising clear career pathways to help aid retention.
The final speaker of the day was Anne Trotter, Assistant Director: Education and Standards at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Anne outlined updates relating to post registration standards and emphasised the skills needed to help equip the next generation of community and public health nurses working in health and social care.
Playing catch up?
If you would like more information about the conference, or didn’t manage to catch all of the speakers, you can watch back recordings and download the delegate guide on the CMM website. You can also explore the CMM Marketplace, tailormade for the Lincolnshire Care Conference. Here, you’ll find a host of exhibitors aiming to offer you solutions to everyday concerns. With thanks to the conference’s sponsors, Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd, Blue Stream Academy, CarePlanner, PainChek and our exhibitors who made this day possible.