“The challenge for this sector, as for the rest of the system, is to consider what responses to increasingly difficult conditions will maintain quality, now and in the future.”
(The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2015/16, Care Quality Commission)
With social care featuring heavily in the chancellor’s Spring Budget, this timely half-day forum will provide an opportunity for delegates across the adult social care sector to gather for a morning of informative discussion about the current state of adult social care provision and to assess the way forward during a period of high demand and stretched budgets.
With a green paper expected later in the year and plans to adapt the entire social care system for a growing and aging population, discussions will centre around the improvements required to ensure the system works for the future and the need for more effective integration between social care and other service providers to offer a holistic and coordinated care package. Discussions will also focus on the current standards of care, the variations in care provision, and the immediate priorities for raising standards such as installing good leadership, skilled management and changing the culture of care.
The forum will also focus on the financial sustainability of adult social care, the financial pressures of increasing demands despite lower budgets and the priorities for spending the extra £2 billion the chancellor has pledged to provide over the next three years. Discussions will also include the market of care provision, and the contingency plans for when the market fails to provide adequate and necessary care.
Other sessions will focus on the adult social care workforce; the need to attract and retain staff and strategies to improve standards such as the training and development of existing staff and recruiting trained nurses and recent graduates. Discussion will also highlight the difficulties of attracting and recruiting extra staff during a period where the introduction of a national living wage is exacerbating financial strains and ask how to balance to the two concerns.