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Harold Bodmer, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and director of Norfolk’s adult social services, died yesterday after collapsing during a meeting at Norfolk County Hall.
The 61-year-old was made president of ADASS (the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) in April. He was made assistant director of adult social services in Norfolk in 2003 and in 2006 was made director.
Margaret Willcox, vice-president, and Ray James, immediate past president of ADASS paid tribute to him, saying: “It is with great sadness that we announce the sad passing of our President, Harold Bodmer, yesterday.
“Many people today have used the words "such a lovely, honourable man" capturing how, in addition to his professionalism and expertise, his values, integrity, compassion, humility and warmth meant Harold was not only deeply respected but also held in great affection by so many people.
“Harold has made an enormous contribution to the people of Norfolk, to our Association and to the wider health and care sector. He has served ADASS as Regional Chair, then Vice President before becoming President in April this year. His opening speech will be remembered by everyone who had the privilege to be there.
“Harold will be greatly missed, most of all, our thoughts and warmest wishes are with his wife and family at this very sad time.”
David Behan, chief executive and Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at Care Quality Commission also paid tribute, saying "We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Harold Bodmer's untimely death. He was an honourable and decent man who cared deeply about people, especially those in need of support.
"In his too short months as ADASS President he had gained a reputation for straight-talking about the challenges facing social care and social work and only last week was highlighting the financial pressures affecting the sector.
"He will be sorely missed and our thoughts and sympathy are with his family, friends, colleagues and all who loved him."
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England called his death “a great loss to social care” and added: "I knew Harold Bodmer for nearly 10 years and always had the greatest respect for his commitment to social care and for the integrity and professionalism that he always showed to his colleagues and other keys stakeholders. Harold’s death will be a great loss to ADASS and to Norfolk County Council and our condolences and thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this very sad time”.
The flag at County Hall has been flying at half mast today and council staff are being given support.
Councillor Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council said: “I cannot think of a single man who has risen to the top of his profession as Harold did this year and been so universally liked.
“He was the very epitome of public service and of the caring professions. It goes without saying that our thoughts are with his family at this very distressing time.”