The conference season is upon us, for the Political parties and organisations such as Lisa newARC alike. In the political arena, Labour will kick off proceedings in Brighton, closely followed by the Tories in Manchester.

I was looking at the Conservative conference agenda earlier, trying to spot the reference to the importance of addressing the burning issues in a failing social care system, and couldn’t really see it – funny that. I guess it should (will?) be slotted in the session named ‘Fighting Injustices’, which is being presented by Jeremy Hunt, Amber Rudd and Dr David Lidington.

Fighting injustices – well, where do we start on that? It’s a huge topic with social injustice for disabled people being just a small fraction of it, I grant you. Specifically on people with learning disabilities, upon reflection it is clear that there are many people dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and communities and those ‘crusaders’ fighting against social injustices – people like you. But, I wonder at what point do the Politicians have a look in the mirror and realise they are still contributing to it in many respects, not defeating it?

We all know we have an aging population, that care and support needs are growing, and packages reducing. We know people with a learning disability tend to die prematurely compared to the general population; health inequalities are still a massive issue. We know that the amount of funding available is drying up and actually that, although funding isn’t the be all and end all, the sector is at breaking point – which then means people with learning disabilities aren’t able to access the support that they need and ‘build’ the keys to citizenship. I wonder if that will be addressed during the Ministers’ speech?

On a different note, as I said earlier, it is the conference season throughout the sector too. I am proud to say that ARC has its 35th anniversary this year and to celebrate, and to uphold our ethos of engaging with members more widely, we are holding not 1 but 2 conferences – Leeds on 8th November and London on 21st November.

We are using the day to reflect on changes in social care since the 1980’s and to look forward to the future, and at the challenges facing the sector today. We are very honoured to have Neil Eastwood, founder of Sticky People, tackling the subject of recruitment and retention on the afternoon of each day. His session will give attendees practical hints and tips to take away and implement straight away – a must see. Also we have inspiring presentations on Person Centred Active Support and Positive Behavioural Support, as well as key messages from CQC and from Rob Tice, Partner at Flint Bishop Solicitors on Employment Law and the current landscape. Every topic actually is about how to best address the challenges providers face, which in turn is about people who access support living as independently as possible and this then contributes to improving the quality of life for people, at grass roots level.

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Overall, the day is solutions focused and will add value to those who attend. It is aimed at CEO’s Operations Directors, Registered Managers, HR Managers and L&D Practitioners.


If you would like to know more about either of our conferences or to book on, see here. Places are going fast, so don’t miss out – book today!

I look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes

Lisa Lenton, ARC England Director