Care Minister to deliver key speech on housing-with-care


It has been announced that the newly-appointed Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan MP, will give a special address at the leading housing-with-care conference being run by ARCO on 3rd November.

Keegan was recently handed the role of Care Minister by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at a time when social care reform is high on the Government’s agenda. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for better care options to support older people and keep them healthy for longer.

The conference being hosted by the representative body for the housing-with-care sector, ARCO, is taking place from 3rd-4th November in London, and comes at a moment when there are growing calls for a new cross-government task force on older people’s housing and care.

MPs from four different parties urged the Government to consider setting up a task force at a Parliamentary debate on housing-with-care in July. This followed an open letter to the Prime Minister in March, signed by over 40 MPs, Peers, academics, charity and private sector leaders, which called on the Government to make the 2020s the “decade of housing-with-care”. This has been followed by dozens of Parliamentary Questions from MPs of all parties calling on the Government to act.

The ARCO conference attracts hundreds of senior leaders from across the sector, and will feature addresses from major investors, international experts and regulators, alongside the Minister for Care.

Keynote speakers include Baroness Camilla Cavendish, author of the book ‘Extra Time: Ten Lessons for an Ageing World’ and former Head of the UK Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street, and Mac Macartney, international speaker and writer and the founder of Embercombe, which promotes the regeneration of land, society, and people.

On the agenda at the What Next? 2021 conference will be the evolving landscape for housing-with-care over the last 18 months, the importance of clearly defining the sector, ways to create meaningful policy change, and ensuring a zero-carbon future for housing-with-care.

Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said:

“We’re delighted that the Minister for Care will be speaking at our eagerly anticipated conference in November, at a time when social care reform has never been more important.

“The pandemic has shown the need for a greater variety of care options for older people so they can stay healthy and independent for longer, and we look forward to hearing the Minister’s plans to make this a reality.

“We urge the Government to move forward with proposals for a cross-department task force on housing and care options for older people as soon as possible.”