Get involved with the Norfolk Care Convention 2017 – November 15 2017, Norfolk Showground

Willie Cruickshank: The first step on an exciting journey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Willie Cruickshank: The first step on an exciting journey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Willie Cruickshank, director of Careology and organiser of the Norfolk Care Convention, sets the scene for the biggest care conference outside London.

The Norfolk Care Convention marks the start of a journey which will ultimately shape the care market to ensure that it is ideally configured to meet the needs, aspirations and budgets of the people of Norfolk for decades to come.

The Norfolk Care Convention, which is the largest care conference to be held outside London, will take an honest look at the local care sector, setting out some of the challenges we will face as providers and consumers of care, and then explore how people including care consumers, formal and informal providers of care and the council can work together in different ways to promote wellbeing and respond to the needs more effectively and efficiently through shaping the Norfolk care market.

We know that many of our local care providers are finding it increasing challenging to recruit and retain staff with almost 2,000 vacant positions across the county. We also know that if the supply of workforce is to keep up with the increasing demands of an ageing population, we will need to attract an additional 10,000 people to work in the Norfolk care industry by 2030.

So, either we accept that we must all pay more for care, find a yet undiscovered rich seam of professional carer workers or need to start thinking differently about the way we care for ourselves and our loved ones and explore innovative alternatives to the current model.

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They say that 'necessity is the mother of invention' so maybe it's time for the disruptive thinking that brought AirB&B to the world of accommodation and Uber to the world of transport to take a good look at care.

Whatever the solution, we know that a successful consumer-led care market needs to address the key issues of:

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We need to provide information and advice to inform consumers about how to access the most appropriate solutions (and that includes those promoting independence)


We need to promote a care market in which there is a choice of care and support services to meet consumers' needs, aspirations and budgets.


We need to promote a care market which delivers high quality care and support services for consumers.

Value for Money

It is vital money is spent fairly. All consumers need to achieve good value for money for all care purchased.


We need to work with providers to ensure a sustainable care market for the future.


?We should be investing in innovation across the spectrum of care.

Shaping, developing and sustaining such a care market is a major undertaking but as the alternative is potentially market failure resulting in significant unmet care needs for our friends and family we must grasp the nettle and throw our hearts and souls into this work.

The Norfolk Care Convention is just the first step on this exciting journey and we look forward to as many people as possible joining us at the Norfolk Showground Arena to help us make a start.

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