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The importance of integration and joint learning

Medequip attending the National Children and Adults Service conference in Bournemouth

As we approach the holiday period, I wanted to share a few thoughts after attending the National Children and Adults Service conference in Bournemouth and the Commissioners Conference in Alfreton.

Whilst both had different strap lines and focus, they also had much in common.

It was lovely to meet people we have been working with for some time, others who we are looking forward to working with in 2024, and some who just wanted to hear what Medequip has been doing, and how it might help them as they plan for the future of their services. It’s amazing how many people will stop for a chat if you are giving away cuddly soft toys.

Both conferences emphasised that in the moments when the system is short of time and money, there is even more reason to work alongside people who draw on care and support. Because it is only then that we can be sure we are spending what money there is, on what is important and what works.

Both conferences had a focus on integration and joint working between health and social care, and in both conferences I heard how difficult it can be finding the key influencers and leaders. All I can say to that is it’s even harder if people and systems keep you at arm’s length. Medequip have joined the #SocialCareFuture Big Connect, a community of practice of provider organisations that won’t settle for being described simply by the services they provide, but want to play their part in the wider community.

The most exciting things in Medequip happen where local people, local organisations and the NHS and Social Care, work together to find ways of trying new things, or find better ways to do things we have always done.

I had to do a bit of a double-take in Bournemouth when I turned up to find colleagues wearing spectacularly large underpants over their outfits. But now understand more than I did about the work of Camerados and Curators of Change. Two ways of looking at the world as much as they are organisations, and very willing role models for working together.

Keep an eye out for “public living rooms” at future Medequip events!

Both conferences heard from CQC about the plans for assurance of Adult Social Care, and although Medequip is not a registered service, please do reach out if we cover your area and I or my team can help in anyway with the preparation of your evidence file.

It can be a difficult time for some people over the holiday period, but the Medequip vans and responders will be out there and I’m ever hopeful that in 2024 we will all realise that we are better, stronger and more resilient together.

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