We spent Wednesday and Thursday last week at the Health+Care and Commissioning 2014 Show. With the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health), Rt Hon Norman Lamb (Minister of State for Care and Support) and Andy Burnham (Shadow Secretary of State for Health) leading a diverse panel of speakers, it was an interesting couple of days. There was a focus on integration throughout the Show, and case studies from Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities with debates around loneliness, dementia, mental health and the Better Care Fund.
We were lucky enough to exhibit, and attend a few talks around loneliness and social exclusion. We met some wonderful people and organisations making a real difference in the lives of people, and challenging the stigma attached to the subject of loneliness. These included Action on Hearing Loss, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Avante Partnership, British Red Cross, Essex Cares, Livability, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mears Group, Midland Heart and Royal Voluntary Service to name a few.
The Rt Hon Norman Lamb highlighted that technology in care is crucial and that addressing loneliness and isolation reduces hospital admissions. Tracey Robbins, Programme Manager for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shared their work on how neighbourhoods can contribute to the well-being of local people at risk of, or experiencing, loneliness in a sustainable way.
We were able to highlight the role Visbuzz can have in combating isolation, increasing social and digital inclusion, increasing wellbeing and reducing the costs of caring. It was fantastic to be able to demonstrate how well Visbuzz works with one of our very own Visbuzz Champions from the British Red Cross located in Halton having a one touch video call with some of the delegates gathered around our stand at the Show.
It was a great couple of days, and so positive to see people working together to improve health and care, and the quality of people’s lives.