The C&SW Conference enjoyed record numbers of delegates and exhibitors this year and for the first time was sponsored by three of our Commercial Partners; Care Planner, Nurseline Healthcare and Nourish Care. The delegate numbers were north of 150 and the exhibitors numbered around 23.
Opening the day: David Smallacombe (CEO Care and Support West) opened the day by inviting the three sponsors to say a few words about why they had decided to become commercial partners with C&SW and why in particular they had agreed to sponsor the event. He went on to set out the kind of support C&SW members could expect from him, Angela Roberts (Dep CEO), Mik Alban (Development Director) and Barbara Harris (IT support and newsletter writer) and closed his introduction by inviting non-members present to sign up to be a C&SW member via a special conference day deal on cost.
The keynote speakers were Mei-Ling Huang (Royds Withy King Legal) and Professor Martin Green (Care England) in the morning and Deborah Ivanova (CQC) and Mick Feather (Citation --- also a C&SW commercial partner) in the afternoon. The remaining time in both the morning and afternoon programme was taken up with round table delegate discussions focused on what the keynote speakers had presented. The keynote PPT slides can be accessed via the links in this document; notes from the round table discussions are both on the C&SW web site and can be accessed here: Notes on Innovation
Mei-Ling’s presentation and talk focused on Service User Contracts, CQC and Local Authority Commissioners while Martin's presentation highlighted the importance of Sustainability, Maintenance and Growth. Both were variously critical of Local Authority Commissioners, CQC and Central Government and in particular Martin expressed his dissatisfaction with the latest boost to health funding making a total investment from government of £148b while social care sits at £18b. Mei wondered about local authority processes and highlighted the recent Competition Market Authority’s move to challenge care provider self-funder service users contracts and warned that both the CMA and CQC would be looking to focus on these. One of the highlights of the morning was a challenge to Martin Green from the delegate audience by a local authority commissioner. A couple of sparing rounds between them certainly livened up the audience!!
The afternoon session saw a focus in Debbie's presentation on CQC and its task to Maintain Quality in Regulated Services while Mick chose to go with Improving Care Ratings and Keeping Quality Visible. Debbie, as you will see from her PPT slides had a great deal to say about the first element of the four CQC strategic priorities i.e. 1. encouraging improvement through innovation and sustainability in care. Mick's presentation took the audience through a number of the new KLOE’s and linked them to how best providers can improve their care ratings at the same time as keeping quality firmly at the centre of their work in order to obtain an Outstanding rating. He reminded people that always aiming for Outstanding is the route to take rather than being happy with Good!!
Some comments from speakers and delegates/Exhibitors
I thought it was a great event. Thanks very much for allowing us to speak. The joint session with Martin Green was fun and, I think, useful.
My reflections on the day are that it was great to see such a big and varied group of providers, managers and others come together all with a view to improving care and strengthening the sector. There are a lot of issues to be managed these days but it’s heartening to know that CSW members have the can-do spirit and determination required not just to “stay alive” but to thrive.
I thought the conference was an excellent opportunity for the care sector to come together, and to look at the current challenges, but also think about the way in which we can develop a diversify to meet these challenges”
Thanks for organising such a stimulating conference. It was useful to have the opportunity to be both a delegate and an exhibitor which is a helpful feature of C&SW conferences. It was perhaps the smoothest of starts that I have had: very easy to get set up and made to feel welcome. The day was well organised.
Closing the day Len Collacott (Chair of C&SW) said:
"Firstly a few thankyous. I am sure we all agree that this has been, as usual, a great conference. That takes a great amount of work so we need to thank David Smallacombe for his time energy and efforts (and his team). And a great thank you to all our thought provoking speakers. I wanted to do a brief recap of today’s event and mark out some of what I thought were the highlights.
· Trevor from Nurseline- a great introduction. I have to question him- when he said ‘we will be using this service in 50 years’ time’- not me mate- at my age. We will have to get going a lot quicker than that!
· Mei Ling- Always our X factor- often the fear factor- and always reminds me of the Gladiators. Contenders, are you ready?!
· Martin Green- as entertaining as ever. This time he came as a double act with Vince, the commissioner from BANES. We have to give a 10/10 to Vince for his willingness to stand his corner. It was good to have 3 rounds between Martin and Vince. Many thanks.
· Debbie- Terrific to get the thoughts direct from the horse’s mouth of CQC. I do have to wonder though about the variance between what Debbie said about CQC looking to give support and guidance and what Martin said about CQC and its culture of being too ready to take enforcement action.
. Mik Feather- A great opening song. What I took from Mik’s performance was from the same song sheet as Sean Fitzpatrick, the former All Blacks captain who said ‘In order to win, you just have to do the simple things well’ That is very true and his advice to remain calm when the CQC inspector arrives is very valid.
So, we face challenges. The biggest one is the integration of health and social care. That needs to be taken on seriously and speeded up. Martin has just told us the figures. A budget of £148billion for health and £18billion for social care. I want us to get our hands on a good deal of that because I am convinced that we, our industry, can provide much better value for money with it and we will all benefit.
Many thanks for attending today and have a safe journey home."