Walter Hall seminar - past, present and future of social care

11 April 2022

by Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive, MHA


Social care - past, present, and future was debated during our online breakfast seminar with expert speakers looking at where the sector has come from and what needs to be done in the future to support older people. 

The Walter Hall Seminar, named after the founder of MHA, featured a range of speakers who discussed a vision for social care as its theme - one which celebrates, educates and identifies the life we want when we grow older and what needs to be done in order to work towards that goal. 

Kicking off the event was a thought-provoking video where colleagues and members of the public discussed their experiences, thoughts, and ideas about growing older. They discussed how prepared they are for potentially accessing adult social care services and talked about their views on the gaping holes in the sector and attitudes towards ageing.

Alongside myself, the speakers at the breakfast seminar were Professor Pat Thane, Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College London, Dr. Anna Dixon, Chair of The Archbishops' Commission, Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The Kings Fund, Emma Twyning, Director at the Centre for Ageing Better, and Alison Holt, Social Affairs Editor at the BBC.

They explored a myriad of key topics covering ageism in society and how this affects policy decisions, working with the media to tell the full story in the sector and also highlighting the inequalities in adult social care and how these have prevailed for many years.  

Comments made during the seminar by delegates included:

The demographic challenge facing us is that adult children do a huge amount to facilitate care and support even if they don't directly provide but the number of people over 65 without children is increasing and will be over 2 million by 2030.

We should share this sort of thing with young people - I wish I had that when I was younger as I am only just understanding it all in my 40s! We need more people understanding and working to solve challenges

If we are working within a logic that expects people to "contribute to society", why is support to live independently, which arguably helps people to do so, undervalued?

In working with politicians around reform, it is much easier to progress if there is a public pressure towards a different option - so building consensus around a broader narrative and holding in tension both the citizen and consumer perspectives which many individuals come to these issues. So more efforts to mobilise both locally and nationally around a more positive narrative.

There were some incredibly thoughtful contributions by our speakers talking and debating the vision for social care going forward and we were delighted to facilitate that. 

One of the key things to come out of the panel was the need for a unified social care sector that works together. 

The social care sector has been under immense staffing and financial pressures which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. As we go forward, we need a collective mind to tackle rising problems, whilst also contending with historic underfunding that has plagued the sector.

Our #FixCareForAll campaign is calling for adult social care to be a national priority in the Government’s coronavirus recovery programme. Visit our campaign page to find out how you can help. 

Support #FixCareForAll

Support #FixCareForAll

Our #FixCareForAll campaign is calling for adult social care to be a national priority in the Government’s coronavirus recovery programme.

Find out more

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