I am really looking forward to my first National Children and Adult Services (NCAS) conference next week. As my responsibilities cover both adult social care and children’s health it is the one time in the year I will get to engage with both the adult and children’s services sides of local government at the same time. With speeches from our Secretary of State, Minister of State, as well as myself, DH will be there in force, showing the importance we attach to our partnership with local government in delivering our objectives.
Inevitably, I have some expectations as to the main themes that will dominate the event. Some are obvious – financial position, child protection, social care reform, homecare commissioning, the Integration Fund. But I hope that some other important topics will get a look in. High on my wish list would be discussions as to how we improve mental health services for children and young people, challenging whether we are truly changing commissioning practices post-Winterbourne View and seeking to advance the personalisation agenda. I will also be mindful of the work currently underway in reviewing the 2010 Autism Strategy and also the Carers’ Strategy. I would be interested to know what you are hoping to hear from us or indeed wish to raise with us.
In amongst all the debate, I know what I will enjoy most from the event is discovering examples of local best practice I didn’t even know existed. So if you are going to NCAS and have a spare 10 minutes, come and find us at the DH stand. And if you want to meet with me at the event to discuss any problems or barriers you are facing, or just to tell me about something great your authority is doing that we should know about, then please contact me via Twitter, @RouseJonDGDH, at any time.
See you in Harrogate.