Thursday, 27 September 2012

Getting a grip

Here's a quote for all you third sector leaders facing increasing problems;

Voltaire: “Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats".

And we see from the Kings Fund report that the health service is facing more funding problems. This illustrates the danger of a salami slicing approach to cuts. It is unacceptable for hospitals and managers to try to save money be limiting access to treatment or delaying it. Routinely hospitals are giving less priority to non emergency treatments like hip and knee replacements and hernias.  They cynically ignore provisions in the NHS constitution that give people a statutory right to access treatment after 18 weeks. 

In fact a radical restructuring of the service is needed and third sector organisations need to be demanding change. More resources out of hospitals and into prevention and community care. More diversity of provision. More choice and competition.  But I've banged on about this too often in these blogs! Still ,i will be making the same point to Jeremy Hunt when I see him shortly. 

And now , would you believe I'm off to Hamburg. I have to admit it was a pleasure to return home from a wet and windy Malmo late on Tuesday. My own bed. My dog. A cup of proper tea . Sure beats a wretched hotel with a gurgling radiator. And a day in the office! 

I  have been invited ro give a key note address at the conference of a big German Foundation ; they want me to talk about the role of the sector in helping develop Government policy and challenging Governments. The German third sector has less of a tradition of political engagement. I shall stir them up. A bit of agit prop and speaking truth to power. Our dual role of delivery and Challenge. 

Indeed the way things are going here with the coalition Government's lack of any coherent policy  on our sector as part of the answer to current economic and social challenges we will need a bit more speaking truth ......or singing it!

Stephen Bubb

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