National Social Care Conference – Delivering Quality In Challenging Times

LaingBuissonLogoAn impressive line-up of eminent speakers arrives at the ICC in Birmingham on the 12 May to share the latest thinking on care for older people, care for adults under 65 and children’s services. This, without doubt, makes the National Social Care Conference, hosted by LaingBuisson, the must-attend event in this year’s diary for anyone involved in public or private social care.

This influential conference and exhibition showcase is neatly organised to allow delegates to benefit from a morning of keynote addresses, open debate and networking – followed, from 11:45 onwards, by a choice of three core streams to further explore given areas of interest and responsibility.

Rt. Hon. Stephen Dorrell will deliver the welcome address and host a mid-morning panel discussion.  No stranger to health and social care issues, the former Secretary of State for Health, now a director in LaingBuisson, is delighted to be facilitating this brand new platform for the sector.

“Everyone has heard about the funding pressures in social care, but the issues in the sector go well beyond cash pressures”, says Mr Dorrell. “Operators need to take account of the changing needs of individuals as well as the requirements of commissioners, professional and system regulators as well as legislators.  We intend that this conference should become part of the annual calendar of events at which the management and professional community meet to exchange views about the service and financial challenges facing the social care sector.  By sharing knowledge and best practice, we hope this launch event will encourage fresh thinking, improve understanding and inspire progress.”

Other keynote speakers include Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Lord Bichard, Social Care Institute for Excellence and Rt. Hon. Norman Lamb MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Health, and Minister for Car in the Coalition Government.

The event will also host the launch of the latest updates of two of LaingBuisson’s unique market reports: Children’s Care & Special Education Services and Domiciliary Care – therefore giving delegates the earliest access to the latest economic intelligence.

Older People stream – Challenges, Change & Optimism

Rising costs and inadequate fees provide the backdrop for a ‘slow motion’ care crash within state-funded care services for older people.  Despite these pressures in publicly funded care, the privately funded sector remains buoyant, reflecting underlying growth of demand. Speakers in this stream will focus on the critical issues for the sector and the conference will provide an opportunity to combine the perspectives of these senior practitioners, policy makers and professional advisors with contributions from delegates dealing with the issues at the front line.

LaingBuisson’s Chairman, William Laing will open the stream with an economic overview.  During his presentation he will analyse current cost and capacity trends and offer thoughts about options for the future.

Peter Hay CBE, Strategic Director for People, Birmingham City Council will take on the topic of ‘commissioning for quality in a cold financial climate’. He will discuss market sustainability, commissioning strategies and thinking out of the box.

Delegates then move into a commissioning forum to share cases studies and innovative models for continuing healthcare, residential care, homecare and extra care.

Adults under 65 stream – Funding Uncertainties

A preference by councils to champion supported living is a key element of the future trends of care for adults with learning disabilities.  For the most part, it seems a logical solution to address the increasing demand for personalisation and greater independence.  In reality however, the transfer from registered residential homes to supported living environments is at best showing slow progress.  Financial uncertainty surrounding housing and care benefits clearly only intensifies the problem.

During this specialist stream, delegates will hear from experts such as Anna McEwen, Director of Support & Development, Shared Lives Plus.  Ms McEwen is a passionate advocate of providing family-based, small scale ways of supporting adults, but challenges the popularity and cost-effectiveness of alternative initiatives.

There is also ample opportunity for open discussion with both provider and commissioning forums.

Children’s Services stream – Too Few, Too Late?

Social care, fostering and special education services are central to the remit of every local children’s department.  New learning, thanks to a plethora of ideas from the Innovation Programme, is struggling to make it through to all but a few of these authorities thus limiting real change.

David Jones, Chair, Association of Independent LSCB Chairs will tackle this head-on in his ‘silo-busting children’s services in a complex world’.  Mr Jones is joined by a number of other prominent speakers, including a provider best practice presentation from Tom Riall, CEO, Priory Group. (

A provider forum, workshop and commissioning forum will complete the agenda for this stream.

A Catalyst for Change

LaingBuisson needs no introduction as the UK’s leading provider of insight and information for the independent health, social care and childcare sectors.  The National Social Care Conference underlines their expertise and commitment to the marketplace and promises to do exactly as it says… deliver quality in challenging times.  Further details can be found at and early bird delegate rates are available until 31 March by emailing