Annual General Meeting – 7th May 2015

The 7th May saw the West Sussex Partner's in Care Annual General Meeting take place. Below is a transcript of Rosmary Pavoni's (Chair) speech. Also available for download is the accompanying slide presentation.

Setting the scene-looking back over the last year and looking forward

Today, West Sussex Partners in Care is the largest representative body for community care in West Sussex and seeks to provide a single unified voice on behalf of its members. As WSPiC we represent all adult care services registered with CQC of which there are 616. Including:-

  • 373 Care Homes-residential and with nursing
  • 154 Domiciliary Care Services

Our adult social care community also includes services such as the 3 Hospice and other supported living provision.

However, twelve months ago we were faced with uncertain future as our £50 thousand pounds per annum funding was withdrawn by the statutory authorities and there was a real risk of us not being able to continue to provide a care association to the care providers of West Sussex.

As West Sussex Forum at that time, we were also in a state of both shock and turmoil by the sudden and untimely death of Paul Renshaw, the Forum’s CEO in June 2014. As founding members, Paul and I set up the Forum 15 years ago but it was Paul as CEO who was the driving force behind the association.

At this uncertain time we needed to make decisions swiftly because we still had financial commitments to WSCC and our board members. To address this we decided to re-branded the care association under the name of West Sussex Partners in Care and streamline our services to become self-sufficient. So a challenging journey tinged with sadness and emotion began.

The core of the WSF Board remained with WSPiC, but they have been assisted by the appointment of Dr Sue Craig (formerly CTC) for one day a week as our development manager. We have also been extremely fortunate to have had the support from John Gisby (also formerly CTC and a previous WSCC partnership officer) who has given us his time on a voluntary basis.

As WSPiC, with the help of the accountants we were able to unravel the financial situation left from the closing of WSF. All outstanding debts have been paid off and our 2013/14 accounts have been signed off by the accountants and accepted by Company House. However, one of the biggest challenges has been trying work with Royal Bank of Scotland to change the names on the accounts etc. Despite this, WSPiC is in a sound financial position with £27,190 in our current account providing the ability to continue to pay for the role of a development manager.

In the short time since the establishment of WSPiC we have already:

  • Re written our financial protocol
  • Re-written our communication strategy
  • Re-written our values and principles for board members.
  • In the process of re-writing our Memorandum of Association
  • Registered WSPiC with Companies House
  • While we have closed the Caringinfo web site which was extremely expensive, (although we have retained the domain) and have created WSPiC website which is meaningful, useful and accessible to all our stakeholders

As a result of streamlining our activities, we no longer work with WSCC on producing the Care Guide, which was extremely complex and labour intensive with little gain to the sector.

We have reconfirmed our core values which are to be:

  • Open and transparent
  • Responsive
  • Caring
  • Professional
  • Representative
  • Approachable

In defining our Strategic Plan for 2014/2016 we committed to respond positively to the challenges and changes facing us all in the sector which included:

  • The Care Bill (this year being with specific regard to Safeguarding)
  • The Cavendish report resulting in the Care Certificate
  • The New Start CQC- including the Fundamental Standards and the new way of inspecting.

With our priorities being

  1. Workforce Development
  2. Advise, Inform and influence
  3. Provide Services
  4. Sharing

In addressing these priorities:

Workforce Development

There are an estimated 23.000 people working in the independent care sector in West Sussex (sourced by SfC). WSPiC aims to support the upskilling of the workforce to provide the best possible care to the people in our community.

To this end in the last ten months we have:

  • Doubled the attendance at Manager’s Forum events which enhance networking and sharing of best practice across the workforce;
  • Established a WFD sub-group, working directly to the WSPiC Board. This group meets with both WSCC and a the wider training providers including SfC, HEE and the CCGs
  • Organise the Annual Accolades
  • Held two very successful seminars
  • Been successful in getting WSCC to introduce Train the Trainer topics
  • Displayed training opportunities on the website

Advise, Inform and Share

In the last ten months WSPiC has

  • Forged effective partnerships with WSCC/CCGs/Safeguarding Board to co-ordinate and streamline a two way flow of information
  • Joined Care Association Alliance in order to have a national overview
  • Attended both the Department of Health and the House of Commons
  • Produced our first News letter
  • Created the website
  • Established five sub groups including WFD, Domiciliary Care, Learning Disabilities, Residential Care and Care for people with Dementia, as well as us attending end of life meetings

Providing Services

  • We continue to provide the DBS services although this is proving not to be cost effective
  • We continue to work with WSCC to promote the use of Care Wise


  • We bring together a wide range of providers of care by developing regular networking groups across the county by putting people in contact with one another and arranging special events
  • We provide the sector with regular electronic updates of a range of topics pertinent to their services

Looking Forward

Last year we doubled our membership to 75 provider services. However it is imperative we continue to increase these numbers to become more representative of the sector and consolidate our financial independence. With more financial support for instance we could expand the role of the development manager. We will also be looking for major and/ or ad hoc sponsorship.

We need to promote the values of membership across the care sector to draw a critical mass of providers including highlighting the benefits for both business owners and managers. Events such as the Manager’s Forum will increasingly become member only sessions as they are already organised and facilitated by WSPiC but seen as a WSCC event.

We will be developing a members-only area to the website so subscribing members receive priority information and opportunities to support their services. The WSPiC Newsletter will be sent to members only.

To make WSPiC even more effective and efficient, we intend to allocate lead responsibilities to board members and recruit new co-opted board members in areas that we currently do not have representation (i.e. mental health and people with physical disabilities); and ensure that we have written achievable targets that we can monitor at our board meetings.

For all this to happen however, we need the continuing and growing support of the adult social care providers.

Rosemary Pavoni
Chair WSPiC