Sector facing difficult times, Norfolk’s annual Care Conference told

Norman Lamb MP, pictured at Blakeney Hotel, spoke at the conference. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Norman Lamb MP, pictured at Blakeney Hotel, spoke at the conference. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The North Norfolk MP told the annual Care Conference the solution to the sector's budget challenges rest with professionals on a local level.

'If you empower people on a local level to reshape services in a way they know will work best for people you can achieve great things,' he said.

'We have the power and the means within this county to change things for the better for the people of Norfolk.'

The event at the Holiday Inn on Cromer Road was attended by staff from care homes, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation trust and other support organisations.

Chief Executive of Care England, which represents independent care services, Professor Martin Green also gave an address.


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'We're going into difficult times,' he said. 'I believe we haven't seen the worst of it.

'The challenge for us will be to continue the dialogue to find solutions to the challenge.

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'It's going to get very, very tough.

'If we're going to take an integrated approach to health and social care we're going to have to change not just one bit of the system, but all of the system.'

Chair of Norfolk Independent Care Dennis Bacon called for better pay for care staff.

'Workforce is what concerns me most when you consider that 80pc of our frontline staff are paid minimum wage (and) increasing numbers of zero hours contracts,' he said.

During the rest of the conference, visitors heard about dementia-friendly communities from Director of Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance Willie Cruickshank and High Sheriff of Norfolk Lady Pippa Dannatt spoke about mental health.

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