The National Hospice at Home Conference was, as always, an extremely well attended event and I was honoured to present at it. I was particularly heartened by the delegates’ recognition of the vital role that adult social care plays. However, I was also struck by delegates’ lack of awareness of the various service provisions within social care even though they have been established for many years. Extra care housing and the role of care teams in providing end of life support did not appear to be well known, nor the benefits appreciated.

I left the conference with a renewed determination to share the knowledge and experience that exists within adult social care provision and to support the specialist services that clearly and rightly exist.

An opportunity to do this was presented to me at the end of September when the National EOLC Board had its first meeting chaired by Sir Bruce Keogh from NHS England. ADASS rightfully has a seat at the Board’s table and is contributing to the three main work streams:

  1. Enhancing Physical & Mental Wellbeing
  2. Transforming experience of end of life care in hospital and community
  3. Commissioning quality services that are accessible to all when needed.

Adult social care can and will sign up to these work streams, but I guess the challenge moving forward is how we embed the social model of care in future health and care models. It’s still early days but, owing to its experience, the voice of ADASS is beginning to influence practice.

The second Board took place in December and as your ADASS representative I am keen to put forward your views and ensure that they are heard and considered.  To support me in this endeavour send your comments to Johncpowell2016@gmail.com

The Ambitions Partnership and Steering Group continue to be as active as ever. Where does Bee Wee get the energy from? Not so strong is spreading the word and engaging with Health and Wellbeing Boards. Progress in this area remains patchy. Please check where your council is placed and if it isn’t engaged, encourage it to take the framework to the Board. We are keen to know how things are moving forward locally and welcome any updates.

I shall conclude by reflecting on another presentation, this time at St Francis Hospice in Havering. The conference was a wonderful celebration of their Education Centre, which turned ten this year. I spoke about integration with the NHS over the past decade and what the future holds. I can imagine you saying, “Well, you got the easy one!” and that’s fair enough. I was proud to think of the progress and achievements made over the past ten years, and hopeful in suggesting how a coordinated effort can improve people’s lives and their experience as they approach the end of life. All the presentations are available to see here: https://londonadass.org.uk/networks/eol-leads/#resources See you next month.