Biggest care convention outside of London held at Norfolk Showground
PUBLISHED: 15:47 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:47 15 November 2017
Archant © 2017
The organiser of the largest care convention outside of London has said Norfolk needs to look to the future of the sector if things are to change.
Willie Cruickshank, director of Careology and organiser of the Norfolk Care Convention, today (Wednesday) welcomed hundreds of people to the Norfolk Showground Arena.
From care homes to community providers to charities, interested parties took part in a live debate before engaging in discussions from experts in the industry.
MORE: How Norfolk is tackling the shortfall in care workers
Mr Cruickshank said the event was important as going forward, different agencies needed to come together to shape care.
“The future of social care in Norfolk is not just a county council problem,” he said.
“It’s not a care at home problem, it’s not a care home problem. We all have a part to play in this.”
MORE: What’s it like working in care?
He said as it stands, there are around 2,000 vacant positions in the sector in Norfolk - and if the workforce is to keep up with demand 10,000 more care workers will be needed by 2030.
“So either we accept that we must all pay more for care, or we need to start thinking differently about the way we do things,” he said.
One of those who had a stall at the event was Jamie Moses, of charity About with Friends which supports those with learning disabilities. He said supporting people while their young was equally as important as when they grow old.
MORE: When good care can promote independence and strengthen communities
“If we can plant the seeds, the savings in the future when they are old is massive. For example, dementia in early life is more common in people with learning disabilities, but getting good quality care early means they might not need as much support later,” he said.
James Bullion, Norfolk County Council’s executive director of adult social services added: “The Convention has been a great platform to discuss the issues that really matter to the care sector and it was extremely valuable to welcome the public for the first time. We know the care sector faces a number of challenges and we are fully committed to tackle these head-on. Transforming the way we deliver and commission our services to meet the changing needs of people is something we want to get right, first time, and we can only achieve this if we engage with our communities and support people to stay independent for as long as possible.”