Suppliers and stalls
I kicked off day one by wandering around some of the suppliers and their stalls in the Residential & Home Care Show section, although I’ll be honest, I’d forgotten quite how big the ExCeL Centre was!
It wasn’t long before I bumped into people I knew and it was great to catch up and put faces to names of those who I’d spoken to virtually. I got to meet the lovely Log my Care team too after starting to write these blogs during the pandemic.
I spent the rest of the morning in the Healthcare Show section meeting new suppliers. It was great having a mix of both sectors! I got to upskill myself and share insights with lots of different people. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of knowledge gaps on both sides, which is something we need to ensure we work on collaboratively.
Talks and panel discussions
The first panel discussion I listened to was 'Social care authors: the why behind the books', which was insightful but also inspiring for anyone thinking about putting their own opinions and experiences onto paper.
In the afternoon, I joined the '360 social care debate panel discussion' and spoke about the impact the new health and social care levy is having on staff in lower-paid roles and how we need to ensure the government is held accountable for ensuring reform happens equally for both health and social care.
"Between networking, catching up and listening to the talks, it would have been great to have a clone of myself to get everything done!"
Day two was equally as engaging. I started the day by taking The Caring View live and co-hosting a panel discussion on 'Whose responsibility is it to fix social care?'
I also stopped and watched the panel discussion on 'Improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the care sector'. It was great to see a diverse range of people speaking about different types of discrimination and providing tips on how employers can make changes within their organisation. It highlighted how much further we have to go.
Freebies and merchandise
It wouldn’t be an event without some free merch to take back home and this year didn’t disappoint!
The inflatable beach balls were a winner for me - so many people were talking about them and carrying around! Although I must say, I really liked the notepads from Log my Care which had inspirational quotes on them!
My final thoughts
I sadly had to leave before the end of the day to do daddy duties, but I left motivated and thinking about the sector. Reflecting on the event, it would be great to:
- Have access to app which allows you to electronically select the sessions you would like to see and create an itinerary for you, that you can easily access.
- Have social care sessions held in the healthcare section and vice versa, so that that learning can take place for both sectors.
- See more people from social care sharing their views.
- Integrate the different shows more, to allow suppliers to network and attendees to see more areas.
To summarise, it was a great couple of days full of great topics and panel discussions, and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces and care colleagues. It's definitely set a great standard for the rest of the shows this year!