Ageing Population 2010 Annual Conference

Yesterday I attended the Ageing Population 2010 Annual Conference at the QE2 Conference Centre in London, where they recently held the Iraq War enquiry, you know the one where Tony Blair got less of a grilling that he did on the Fern Britton Show. Anyway as I stood drinking a cup of coffee in the mid morning break, I was thinking, this building must have the best views in London from its upper floors, over looking the rear of the newly renovated Supreme Court building, and beyond to Parliament Square and the House of Parliament with Westminster Abbey just to the right, quite a view.

Back to the conference floor, what particular stuck me from the very interesting mix of Speakers was the presentation in the morning’s plenary session by Dame Jo Williams who is the acting chair of the Care Quality Commission when she spoke about dignity in care. On the face of it we perhaps all think we know what dignity means, be it about privacy, being spoken to properly, a caring warm environment, good food and respect. But what struck me was when she referred to it as being more about choices, however frail you or I might get, just as now I want the choice to eat when I want to, choice to do the things I went to do, when I want to and not have to fit into a regiment regime however caring that might be, and that is a real challenge for our Care Homes, there is some great practice out there but we can always do more and is an aim which I am extremely keen to see promoted across Suffolk not only in the County ran Care homes but with our private partners as well.

Dame Williams also spoke of the important campaign that promotes this, the Dignity in Care challenge with its 10 simple aims that Sir Michael Parkinson has been spearheading this past year. The aims are simple and state that the high quality services that respect people’s dignity should:

1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse

2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family

3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service

4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice, and control

5. Listen to support people to express their needs and wants

6. Respect people’s right to privacy

7. Ensure people fell able to complain without fear of retribution

8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners

9. Assist people to maintain confidence and a positive self esteem

10. Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation.

If you want to learn more about the campaign, I recommend having a look at, there you can sign up both as a Dignity in Care champion and choose to sign up for the regular email newsletter, it’s a quick, easy, read when it comes through and makes for very interesting reading on this important subject.

The closing speaker was Stephen O’Brien MP, the Shadow Care Minister and he spoke for about 15 minutes. As you can imagine it was not the most receptive audience, not to mention that it was the end of a long day as the conference was overrunning heading towards a 5pm close after a 9:20 start. However by the end of his remarkable speech where he laid out a vision for social care, a large number of people had stayed and were very eager to ask him questions about aspects of the Conservative proposals.

His speech was particularly pleasing to me as I recall last May, as this debate was starting to take shape, being invited, along with my fellow Suffolk councillor Graham Newman and a number of other councillors who are involved in the delivery of care services. to spend the day with Andrew Lansley and Stephen O’Brien in Birmingham where we debated and discussed a wide range of options and it was excellent to see how those early thoughts on how to pay for care have matured into a coherent set of proposals and an honest approach to the fact that there is still a debate that needs to take place as the county grapples with the row that has taken place about Free Home Care for those with the most critical needs and the ill thought-out and un-costed proposals in the Government’s Green Paper.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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