Lancashire Care Conference Event
The Lancashire Care Conference will be taking place on September 19th at the Mercure Dunkenhalgh in Clayton Le Moors, Blackburn.
This year, Insequa will be there exhibiting. It’s our first time taking part in one of CMM’s conferences and we’re really excited about it. Because we’re newbies, we thought we should get some inside information on what to expect. And who better to speak to than Paul Simic, CEO of Lancashire Care Association? He very kindly agreed to field a few questions for us:
Insequa: What can we expect on the agenda this year?
PS: As ever there are a range of excellent speakers who are experts in their fields. The keynote item will look at Lancashire County Council’s commissioning strategy and its attempt with partners to construct a meaningful whole system Market Position Statement, including the Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS in that.
There are potentially big changes ahead for providers through the extra care and other commissioning strategies for the care market particularly the reiterated view from the County Council that there is a substantial oversupply of care homes when compared with peer authority areas while there are fundamental questions around care homes as a model going forward. At the same time the domiciliary care market struggles with its own fragility where it is dependent on public sector commissioning.
Insequa: Why should Lancashire care providers attend?
PS: This is the primary annual event in the care calendar in Lancashire and the North West. The feedback we’ve had over the years from exhibitors and delegates who attend national conferences is that the LCA conference ranks amongst the best in the country. The business critical information and networking opportunities make it invaluable to independent sector care providers. It’s also a great day out and a chance to mix and mingle away from the day to day pressures at work! Research shows that networks work and those who network are more successful than those who stay in their bunkers.
Insequa: Are there any local issues effecting Lancashire care providers specifically?
PS: A ‘biggie’ at the moment is the new Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria ‘Service Specification’. There will be the opportunity to question the council on this as well as hear how they frame the argument for it and how they see the year ahead as the major commissioners of care. The Registered Care Managers Network (RCMN) will follow up on last year’s focus on mental health and suicide prevention. The continued development of the RCM Network through LCA’s facilitation sees the peer group support getting a stronger voice and profile year on year.
Insequa: Any tips for care providers for getting the most out of the conference?
PS: Firstly, stay until the end! The most animated and passionate meeting last year was the end of day RCMN meeting. The programme is a full one with LCA reviewing how we move representation on in the Lancashire and surrounding areas also in the afternoon. A new Chair for the Association will be part of that dialogue as to how we best speak up for the sector.
Secondly, visit the exhibition stands! The exhibitors don’t bite and they are partners in the collective attempt at service improvement.
Thirdly, talk to LCA Board members – they are there to represent the whole sector as well as members. The Conference is not a one-off, it is part of ongoing work to support the sector effectively across a range of events, business meetings and other communications and partnership working.
Insequa: Regarding point number two on that list! Yes, please do come and say hello to the team from Insequa. We’ll be exhibiting on the day and we certainly don’t bite! We’ll be ready and waiting to field questions on growing your business through winning tenders, showing you our innovative care policy products and discussing how our Quality Audit Support makes stressful CQC inspections a thing of the past. We’ll also be giving away FREE an Oral Health Policy. Remember earlier in the summer when CQC published their Smiling Matters report? It concluded many care providers needed to brush up on Oral Health support for those in their care. If you don’t have an Oral Health Policy yet, then you need to get one. And this is your perfect opportunity to get your hands on one in our fresh, innovative policy format.
Insequa: Anything else you want to tell us about, Paul?
PS: The biggest challenge for the sector is to see it take up its rightful position as a sector that deserves to be respected and valued and can help shape the quality care market rather than have it dictated by commissioners whose decisions are determined by budgets and some ambivalence towards the independent, particularly private, sector. It needs to move from its relatively weak position amongst the stakeholder bodies – the local authorities, NHS and those with a regulation or other monitoring and oversight roles – to some higher ground and the annual conference is an important part of building identity, voice and support for the sector.
Many thanks to Paul Simic of Lancashire Care Association for sharing with us his valuable insights in the run-up to this key social care sector event. See you in Blackburn on September 19th – don’t forget to come and say hello and claim your FREE policy. Or call us on 0115 896 3999 to learn more about how we could make your life as a care provider so much easier.