Last week I and a number of CPEA Ltd colleagues went to big Health+Care event at the Excel Centre. Seminars, exhibitors and networking from right across both the health and social care worlds. The emphasis was on integration and commissioning but there was something for everybody – safeguarding, home care, residential, meals, telecare – you name it.
A couple of things struck me along the way:
First the exhibition was a microcosm of the true market place out there for customers – the health services of all types well displayed and social care providers more reticent. People need to see and hear about the choices available. They need to understand how they interact and how one option can prevent the need for another. People need the space to test and taste what is offer before they make decisions. Critically they need to be engaged in the value and emotion of services and not just the cold facts of how they work. This is how we can all make best use of our money both individually and as communities.
Second Health+Care demonstrated complexity and gave some indication of the type of approach that can be used simplify things for customers. Provision across health and social care is characterised by its plurality. The economy is a mixed one and likely to get more so. However fragmentation is not inevitably a bad thing if opportunities are made and taken to collaborate. Some of the networking witnessed and partaken in at the exhibition will serve me well. I noted how thoroughly this aspect of the event was enabled by layout, timing, presentation and a number of navigation formats. Again there is a lesson here in how our real health and social care markets can develop and learn from commerce.
So a welcome addition to our calendar at CPEA Ltd. There are reasons for optimism about the way forward for health and social care commissioners and providers if this type of message can be replicated locally and in the market place.