Recruitment challenges and access to employees from overseas were among key care sector issues discussed at Howes Percival’s inaugural East Anglia Care Leaders Forum.
Local care leaders from across the region came together at Howes Percival’s Norwich office to discuss the key issues facing the sector and hear from keynote speaker and former Minister for Care and Support, Sir Norman Lamb.
Sir Norman spoke of concerns that successive governments have not tackled issues in the sector head-on as well as issues highlighted in a recent open letter which appeared in The Times in September, signed by Sir Norman and nine other former health and care ministers, which raised concerns that ‘our hospital-centric model is no longer fit for purpose’ and that ‘failing to act means failing citizens, patients and healthcare workers’.
Sir Norman was followed by a series of Q&A sessions with panels made up of industry representatives from across the sector including regional care providers, Black Swan Care Group and Norse Care; international care recruitment consultancy, AC Solutions; property specialists, Knight Frank; the National Care Association, NatWest and legal experts from Howes Percival’s corporate, employment and regulatory teams.
Recruitment and retention of staff emerged as the most prominent, universal challenge facing providers, with the topic of immigration and access to overseas employees sparking a lively discussion. Regulation within the sector and the Care Quality Commission’s approach to this following the pandemic was also seen as a key challenge facing providers.
The ‘Finance & Funding’ Q&A panel session brought a more optimistic view as experts commented that there is still a strong appetite for M&A within the sector, with no immediate signs of downward valuations, and noted its resilience from an investment perspective despite economic uncertainty, notably due to the demand for care services heavily outweighing the supply.
Howes Percival Partner and Head of Healthcare, Oliver Pritchard said:
“We are really pleased with the level of engagement we have had surrounding this event. As well as being a trusted adviser to the care sector, we want to shine a light on the fantastic work of so many dedicated people within the sector and help raise awareness of the many serious challenges faced by care providers. We saw this as a great opportunity to do just that and bring together local care sector leaders and industry experts to discuss shared concerns, exchange experiences and offer some practical guidance.
It’s clear that the sector continues to navigate substantial challenges and we will continue to work with stakeholders across the industry to support them and champion the essential work that providers of care services do. I would like to thank the speakers, panellists and guests for making this an engaging and purposeful event.”
For more information about Howes Percival’s work within the healthcare sector, please click here.