I have returned from a very cold Bournemouth, and it was great to see that there was a light well ignited around social care. This year marked my first year of attending as Imperium Resourcing, after previously attending under another guise for nearly 8 years. My initial thoughts were that this was one of the best years that I have had the pleasure of attending. From Rachel Dickinson’s opening speech on behalf of ADCS where the frustration that yet again ministers failed to attend (yes elections are looming), and yet again no presence from a senior level in regards to Health, the true comradery across the social care sector shone through, with a real sense of everyone pulling together to ensure that social care keeps improving and transforming to make sure the best possible outcomes are achieved on behalf of the children and service users that authorities look after.
From a personal and business perspective we engaged with a number of old colleagues, that we wouldn’t always get an opportunity to catch up with, along with a number of new faces. Gone has the recruitment market reliant heavily on operational senior managers (I will not get started with IR35), but an interims true values now lie in being able to add their expertise to transformational programmes and projects to drive Local Authorities agendas forward. With everyone feeling the pinch of austerity across the board I am also very passionate that the agency rates across the market should reflect this, and being lower doesn’t mean that quality is compromised.
It was also a year of firsts in that Imperium sponsored in partnership with the Guardian the industry tradition that is the NCASC Charity quiz, this year with all proceeds going to Diverse Abilities a great local charity supporting children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities across the county. It was great to see after a tough year across the sector everyone coming together for some light hearted fun, a challenging quiz (which unfortunately Imperium didn’t fare well in) and a very retro multicoloured dance floor, bringing back memories of my teenage years.
Already we can’t wait for Manchester next year, and building on the existing relationships Imperium have already forged. With another challenging year ahead budgets, elections, transformations, integrations and multiple other factors mean that that social care is again under challenging circumstances, but I could personally see that the people involved across the social care sector care, and will fight to ensure that the outcomes are achieved.