Friday, 30 October 2009

Eyes, partnerships and mellow fruitfulness

Sitting in the Eye Department at St Thomas'. Plenty of time to Blog and catch up with emails. My eye Op on the left eye has gone well, so now they will do the right eye. Fixed for December 10th so a bleary Christmas beckons!

Sit there also reading sad news of "Phil Archer's" death - Norman Painting the actor who plays the character on The Archers - a very fine radio programme I have been listening to on and off for decades. He has died at a good age of 85. He was also at my old Oxford College - another rather strong recommendation!! The Archers is a rather civilised programme - unlike dreadful Eastenders. I shall be away and so will miss his final broadcast on Sunday 22nd November.

It is always useful to see Hospitals at work and to realise just how bad our Health Service is at health promotion, prevention and care outside of the purely medical. My Chair, Lesley-Anne of RNIB, tells me that on any day in the UK several hundred people are told they will be losing their sight. They are then left to their own devices - very little support or advice on how to cope or what to do about what is very difficult and distressing news. Yet this is exactly what RNIB and other sight loss charities are good at.

What we need is a joined up approach where the NHS works in conjunction with the third sector; a public - third sector partnership where we combine our expertise and skill with advice, support and practical help with the skills of the clinicians. So when someone is given bad news they are taken straight away to people based in the clinic from a third sector charity. Lesley-Anne tells me many people simply go home, upset, depressed and unadvised and their general health takes a step backwards as their eye sight goes. We can do better than this.

So with these dreary thoughts I make my way to La Pont de la Tour, that gorgeous Conran restaurant on Butler's Wharf where one eats and drinks well, whilst admiring the great views of the Tower Bridge. It is where Tony brought Bill and Hilary for dinner once. So a shameless opportunity to add a photo of me and Bill to the Blog.

I'm here to meet with Paul Emery, of the great Insurance conglomerate Zurich. They advice many charities on risk and general insurance matters and have a high reputation in the field.

So a good lunch before heading back to magnificent autumnal Charlbury. It's at its best at present - no mists but lots of mellow fruitfulness (that's a poetic allusion to those schooled on the national curriculum and so unaware of poetry. To show it at its best here is the hound there last weekend.

Enjoy a relaxing weekend all !


Anonymous said...


I really agree with you about the need for a connected approach between health and the 3rd sector. Clearly as you indicated such a joined up approach most importantly promotes the health and wellbeing of individuals and in doing save public monies.

Certainly within the HIV sector there are some really good examples of such NHS 3rd Sector partnerships you describe.

At Positive East, for example, we have outreaches in almost all of the HIV clinics in North East London so that people can be easily connected into getting the additional social care, emotional and practical support they need. This is underpinned by having refferal pathways with the hospitals so that the whole needs of individual are taken into account. So when a non-medical need comes up the Medics, Nurses and Health Advisors refer into our services. Further we attend some of the multi-disciplinary meetings at the Hospital HIV clinics which enables us to be seen as part of the wider team providing support to people.

Mark Santos
Positive East

Josh said...

That's Keats, and I'm state schooled - I claim my five pounds.