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NCAS 2015: the meat (and juice) of health and care policy

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NCAS 2015, like the Bournemouth coast, is now receding in our memories, but unlike Dorset and Hampshire’s Jurassic extremities - on the evidence of this conference at least - there has been no erosion in the collective will to engage, discuss and debate the big health and care issues of the day.

Once again, it was our privilege as the Department of Health (DH) to lead or co-lead an impressive array of plenaries, breakout and breakfast sessions covering youth and crisis care mental health services, care and support reform, dementia care and research, the power and prestige of modern social work and two sessions which, between them, focused on better safeguarding and reporting of risks and abuse for vulnerable adults, women and children.

Lyn Romeo kicks into a higher gear at NCAS 2015!
Lyn Romeo kicked social work into a higher gear at NCAS 2015!

Lyn Romeo, our Chief Social Worker for Adults, found herself wearing two hats this year, her own and Isabelle Trowler’s, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families (who was unfortunately unable to attend). Lyn led a session exploring how social work leaders and practitioners can raise standards and demonstrate their profession’s vital role within the health and care system.

Later, our DH Lounge played host to a ‘meet and greet’ where she took the opportunity to promote her recently published continuing professional development guides. Delegates were invited to take away social work guidance on dementia, autism and working with the Mental Capacity Act. All this dissemination of information proved to be thirsty work, so Lyn found the time to make some refreshing smoothies on our juice bike!

Alistair Burt, Minister for Social Care and Community met delegates ahead of his NCAS debut speech
Alistair Burt, Minister for Community and Social Care met delegates ahead of his NCAS debut

Alistair Burt, DH’s new Minister for Community and Social Care, made his conference debut and was well received by delegates. His acknowledgement and gratitude for the work of his predecessor in this brief, Norman Lamb, drew a round of applause from the floor.

The Minister emphasised the Department’s ongoing commitment to improving mental health services and repeated his pledge to work with Lyn Romeo and Isabelle Trowler to raise the quality and prestige of social work across the lifespan. You can read his speech in full on GOV.UK.

More voices from NCAS 2015

For those of you unable to attend, we hope our live tweeting; daily storify summaries and audio clips combined to give you a flavour of the conference. Click on any or all of the links above to relive the highlights – and why not share your own reflections of NCAS 2015 in the comments box below?

Next year, NCAS returns to Manchester Central and a later than usual calendar slot: 2 - 4 November 2016. DH – and the Social Care News blog will be there!

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  1. Comment by Arthur Gibley posted on

    "the meat and the juice" - really?

    • Replies to Arthur Gibley>

      Comment by Mark Osterloh posted on

      Yes - really. A little whimsy to reflect the heft of conversations and the debut of our smoothie bike.