April 12th 2018 

Apart from a small group of intrepid Care and Health Improvement Advisors who met for an early meeting at 8a.m., day 2 started at 9a.m.  For ADASS members the first main meeting was the ADASS Annual General Meeting.  This was a closed session that covered with general business of the Association and also a policy discussion on Sustainability, Survival and Successes.  

The AGM was followed by the formal handing over of the chain of office from Margaret Willcox to Glen Garrod, who became our new ADASS president. Glen then delivered his new president’s speech, and outlined what he sees as key opportunities during his presidential year: supported housing, digital technology and personalisation.

After a break this was followed by a wide range of workshops on mental health, understanding care markets, Money, Workforce, the CQC local systems reviews, Housing, a Principle Social Worker network session, and the West Midlands approach to “flipping” Social Care! These workshops were run twice, taking us up to lunchtime, to enable people to attend more than one.

Over the lunch period, there were meetings for regional chairs and our associates, and then after lunch we had more workshops, this time run by six different sponsors, on a variety of topics:

  • “Caring for people with learning disabilities: the importance of building homes and support in the right place”
  • “MISSION: POSSIBLE – Managing Demand in Adult Social Care”
  • “What can it cost to improve the lives of people with care needs?.... less than nothing”
  • “What’s the most important thing for this person?’ – two councils’ stories of transforming adult social care to deliver better outcomes and realise cashable benefits”
  • “Public perception and demand for a new model of care and support”
  • “Connecting People, Improving Lives – A Digital Future Explore the opportunities that digital can deliver”

Following the workshops, we had a panel session back in the main Knighton Room: “Integration starts at home”.  The panel included Matthew West, Strategic Direction Programme Lead, Better Care Support Team, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adults, Care Quality Commission and Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown, Hon Secretary of Royal College of GPs. Each gave us a view of their experience and how it related to the title of the session and then there was a lively question and answer session.  It was noted that due to the pre-election “purdah” period, the content should not be shared.

Our second session of the afternoon was a keynote address from Christian Fillet, President of the European Social Network, who gave us an idea of some of the issues that are common across Europe, such as loneliness and solitude, and described responses from different European countries and the benefits of sharing experiences from across the continent.

For our last formal session of the day we were entertained and informed by Aileen Murphy, Director DCLG and Local Government Value for Money at the National Audit Office, who brought her wry, but incisive perspective to the topics of a national strategy for the adult social care workforce and the financial sustainability of local authorities.

After another full day of activities, the evening continues, with the annual dinner of the Association.