I am currently sat on the train home reflecting on the last two days at the Health Plus Care Show, and what a great couple of days it has been. If you didn’t make it, I thought I would share some of my highlights.
This year was noticeably bigger, with the merger of The Healthcare Show, The Digital Healthcare Show and The Residential and Home Care Show, although sad to hear that this year would be the last year of this combination and that the Health Show will be a separate event to the social care show. After years of social care and health trying to collaborate and merge as one, and the work with the ICBs, its evident that we are still worlds apart and much more needs to be done to unite the two.
Day One: Talks and networking
I spent day one walking around the show. It’s been a couple of years where I haven’t been up on-stage giving talks or joining a panel, so it was nice to catch up with familiar faces and also see many new suppliers in the sector. From speaking to many, they are new into the care sector and I am excited to see how they can innovate social care.
Reflecting on the agenda, I wasn’t prepared enough! There were some great discussions going on, which I missed due to networking and catching up with familiar faces, but I made sure I jumped into some of the healthcare sessions as I feel it is important to know and understand what is happening within health, and how we can use this within social care or to collaborate for the people we support.
Two of the talks from day one that I listened to were one on Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and how they play a crucial role in improving patient safety, how to deliver an effective system and about the future. It was a good conversation with some great stories of how ICSs have supported some regions, although it was a shame to see no one on that stage from social care.
Another talk was around sustainable social care and how we can begin to make changes in our services to achieve this. Sustainability is a hot topic right now, and something I am keen to explore further, both for myself and the work I do, but also for society as a whole. I truly believe we all have a place to ensure sustainability for future generations, and some of the easy wins that we may have at home can be transferred into the workplace and vice versa.
I ended the day hosting drinks at a local cocktail bar, catching up with old friends and meeting new faces. I love this part of the care conferences, as its relaxed and you end up collaborating, sharing ideas and networking with people who you may never have come across.
Day Two: Speaking and AI learnings
Day two I was speaking on The Institute of Health and Social Care Management debate about whether pay will resolve the recruitment crisis. It was great listening to the people on my panel talk about how pay is one part of the solution, but that a multifaceted approach is needed which includes career pathways, training and development, flexible working, and support mechanisms. It was lovely to hear the feedback from people who listened, with insights of how they are doing this within their teams.
I watched a discussion around artificial intelligence, which is an area I find fascinating and keen to learn more about. It was clear that it is here, it’s getting bigger and that tech and digital solutions will need to embed this. It was fascinating to hear how some services are already using it with their teams, for marketing and social media.
I ended day two speaking as The Caring View, talking about who we are trying to be outstanding for. It’s clear that many providers are aiming for this for marketing and recruitment purposes. Whilst I understand, it actually makes me really sad because, ultimately, we should want to be outstanding for the people we're supporting.
I came off stage and ended the day stroking some ponies who were being exhibited directly opposite! What a way to end the day!
There are some more great care conferences coming up this year, with these being on my radar:
- NAPA (National Activity Providers Association) Conference - 6th June
- Caring Times’ Care Managers Show - 30th June/1st July
- Care Show - October 11th/12th