Housing Minister Kris Hopkins visits FirstStop Advice

21/11/2013

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins visits FirstStop Advice
Hardly back from York, where he launched the City's new FirstStop advice service last Thursday, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins took time out this week to visit FirstStop HQ in London to see for himself how EAC delivers the national Advice Line service. After listening in for a while he took time to discuss the kinds of issues callers present, and the help FirstStop can offer, with service manager Frances Auger.

During his visit the Minister also made time for an extensive discussion about the challenges posed for older people when local housing, health and social care services are not 'joined up'. Joining him for this were John Galvin of EAC, Sue Adams of Care & Repair England and Jeremy Porteus for the Housing LIN. The three had come together for this meeting with Kris Hopkins to emphasise the contributions several national organisations are making towards the success of FirstStop. Care & Repair's training and support for peer advice and mentoring particularly interested the Minister, as did the Housing LIN's contribution to helping older people and their families understand the huge changes underway in the configuration and delivery of housing and care services.

Kris Hopkins is very much a people person, down to earth, interested and knowledgeable. He shared his own family experience of the difficulties informal carers can face, both during their years of caring and when this role comes to an end. Meeting him was a pleasure, as those who attended the York event had told us it would be!

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