Highlights from Future of Care Conference Leeds 2019

Highlights from Future of Care Conference Leeds 2019

It has been a week since Future of Care Conference came to Leeds for its first event in the North.

We were delighted to see so many care professionals from across the UK come together for this event, to exchange professional and personal experiences from the sector and to hear from industry speakers.

The event was chaired by TV news presenter, Sameena Ali-Khan, who led the conference and steered the panel debates.

The day began with a talk from Ros Roughton, Director for Adult Social Care for the Department of Health and Social Care. Her talk was followed by Sheila Grant, Head of Inspection, CQC. She spoke to us about meeting the needs of the ever-changing population. As people approach the age of requiring care assistance, what else can be done to ensure the sector meets those needs.

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Alzheimer’s Society, took us on a journey through supporting people living with dementia. A campaign called ‘Dementia Friends’ encourages people to join the Alzheimer’s Society in better understanding what dementia is and how to help their community.

Charles Armitage, CEO, Florence discussed the ways of changing the narrative surrounding the care sector. By removing stigma and opening people’s eyes to the positive impact a care giver can have, can begin to change the reputation of the industry.

Anita Charlesworth put a new spin on recruitment for the sector, suggesting that the downfall of staff in social care is centred around pay, zero-hour contracts and job development. To overcome this, we must look outside of the industry to find people that may not already work in the sector.

Sally Gretton, Head of Area at Skills for Care talked about the development of a workforce through workplace values. In doing so, it is far easier and far more successful when employing the right people for the right jobs.

The first panel debate followed a similar theme and explored workforce shortages and how to encourage a new surge of interest in the sector. On this panel was, Anita Charlesworth, Jim Clark, Cllr North Yorkshire County Council, Tracey Holroyd, Chairman Warmest Welcome, Sally Gretton and Oliver McCann, Employment Law & HR Partner.

Tea and coffee breaks were kindly sponsored by Beaucare Medical, who also supplied reusable cups for delegates to take away with them. During this time, delegates took the opportunity to speak to exhibitors from the sector and visit their stands.

think blue solutionsExhibitors from all areas of the sector attended. VR technology was provided by Think Blue Solutions with the aim of giving people the chance to experience a real-world environment from the comfort of their chair.

Smart solutions to staff recruitment were provided by Florence and Courtney Thorne gave exhibitors information on SMART wearable technology and remote reporting for the wireless nurse call industry.

Platinum sponsors, Blueleaf assisted delegates with all their care home supply needs and Midshire offered IT services and business solutions for the sector.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur were on hand to provide advice on legal services in the care sector and through Access Group’s extensive portfolio, accessing software from one dashboard just got easier.

CarePlanner were available to explain their easy-to-use system for the planning and management of social care and our gold sponsors, QCS shared their leading compliance management systems via their app and online.

The afternoon continued with further talks from Jackie Pool, Director of Memory Care for Sunrise Senior Living. Her talked focused on bringing purpose and joy to people living with memory loss. Rosie Seymour, Programme Director of Better Care Fund explained how and where funding for care was coming from and what plans are being put in place for funding in 2020.

First Panel Debate

The second panel debate took a different direction. Its primary focus being innovation for the care sector, saw panellists discuss the idea of robots being introduced into the industry. With smart technology already in place, introducing them could only further complicate matters.

Panellist Tony Stein, Chief Executive of Larchwood Care said, “There is no substitute to human interaction” to which many delegates in the room agreed. Whilst technology plays a huge role in innovation, Rishi Sodha, Care Director, Handsale commented, “It is often going back to basics that can reveal the most innovation”

The conference was ended with a final presentation from Roland McMorran, Director of Architectonicus & Metamorphosen, who shared his inspiring ideas for creating a cluster care home effect to improve the well being and happiness of its residents. With closing remarks from our chair, Sameen Ali-Khan, Future of Care Conference Leeds came to an end.

If you were unable to attend this year’s event, don’t worry, the next conference is 3rd March 2020 at London’s Kings Fund. Find out more about Future of Care here.


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