April 30th 2019

After a night of quizzing (congratulations to the winners Yorkshire and Humber), networking day two of the Spring Seminar 2019 began with an early morning breakfast workshop for the bravest souls. To everyone else, the day began with Julie Ogley’s inaugural speech as ADASS President.

Julie invited all delegates to picture the future of adult social care, and what we can individually and collectively do in the next decade to achieve this. She urged all to envision a long-term and sustainable plan, set to serve the people who need it most and valuing an increasingly skilled and committed workforce, despite a fragile market, unstable funding, and no national strategic direction. Continuing the conversations we have had throughout the Spring Seminar, the President encouraged all delegates to continue speaking the truth regardless of how uncomfortable and challenging it might be for others to hear.

Following the president’s speech Caroline Dinenage (The Minister of State for Care) joined the Seminar. Caroline reflected upon the 12 months since her last visit and Glen Garrod’s ability during his Presidency to deliver bad news with a smile! Caroline acknowledged the stress on the system, the frustration of no Green Paper (which won’t deliver a silver bullet) and the raised expectation every time the Green Paper is delayed. Caroline celebrated the success of social care in delivering substantial reductions in delayed transfers of care, noting that the dedicated professionals in social care had stepped up to the plate. She also noted the importance of the social care workforce and discussed the ‘Talk Health and Care’ platform. Through the platform they would like social care staff to give their thoughts on how employers value their staff via employment rewards and benefits.

Energised by the words of Julie Ogley and the Minister, delegates began a busy morning of workshops. As recognised in the ADASS Next Generation work the nine ADASS regions play a vitally important role for the Association. In a first for the Spring Seminar, ADASS regions delivered the morning workshops showcasing examples of excellence in their areas, promoting a welcomed opportunity to share learning and innovation from across the ADASS national network. This is something we want to do more of in the future.

After a delightful lunch, delegates where invited back to workshops, this time offered by our Sponsors, covering a wide range of challenging topics and again, offering all ADASS members the chance to expand their knowledge from others’ experiences.

Day two’s first plenary session welcomed Aileen Murphie (National Audit Office) Andy Tilden (Skills for Care) and Suzanne Joyner (Darlington Borough Council). The speakers initiated a conversation on the social care workforce, inviting all delegates to think differently and creatively about how we can address the inherent challenges. We ask all ADASS members to feedback their thoughts about the ADASS workforce conversation document which is now available on the following link here.

The second plenary session questioned the validity of the current social care model by asking ‘Has the current model of social care reached its sell by date’?. This led to a passionate debate led by our panel members: Clenton Farquharson (TLAP), Cath Roff (Leeds City Council), Martin Routledge (Social Care Futures), with Beverly Latania and Tricia Pereira who represented Chief Social Workers.

Before our final dinner, all delegates had the chance to take a slightly longer break. A few joined network and regional specific meetings, others took the chance to enjoy the warm weather, some delighted us all showing off their sportsmen and sportswomen skills. All delegates were reunited at 7pm to enjoy a drinks reception offered by EY and, immediately after, the Annual Dinner of the Association. After a fantastic dinner, we all said goodbye to day two of the Spring Seminar, tired yet excited for the next day.