I know I bang on about how the NHS denies people choices at the end of life (why only Monday I was expanding on this theme on the Today programme!) but it's a powerful example of how we don't use our charity sector better.
My good friend Imelda Redmond, Director of Policy at Marie Curie has sent me an impressive report on their nursing service. They commissioned the Nuffield Trust to take our experiences of 29,000 people who received care from Marie Curie and compared "outcomes" with a control group of people not receiving MC care. So they found that 77% of those with Marie Curie nurses died at home (which was their positive choice) and only 8% in hospital. In contrast only 35% of the control group died at home and 42% died in hospital. They also found significant costs differences for the MC nursing service as opposed to the NHS.
So strong evidence of the value of home nursing at the end of life, both for patient’s choice and for cost effectiveness for hospital resources. So please tell me, why are we not commissioning these services more?
Anyway, now I'm off for lunch with Paul Woodward of Sue Ryder and no doubt we will touch on this theme again!
And tonight I'm entertaining at home; the class of '95 of the Duke of Edinburgh Leadership Forum. This was a scheme (I don't think it still exists) where younger leaders (I was one once!) spent 3 weeks on a residential course to discuss and learn about leadership. Each cohort was around 150 people so we were split into groups of 15. My group really gelled and we still meet up every year. This year it’s a trip to see the Sally Army in Denmark Hill (one of our group is a senior director with them) then it’s a taxi ride to Brixton Hill for shepherds pie and champagne at mine. The bottles will be nicely chilled as I have them in the garden!
And I guess the course worked as the group now contains a Dame, the chaplain to the Archbishop of York, a top official in DWP, the Deputy GS at the Civil Service union, an NUT regional official, a top exec at BP(he wins the highest salary award) amongst others. I shall have to be canny with the champagne as it’s the ACEVO AGM tomorrow and our annual Parliamentary Reception which Oliver Letwin MP will speak. I have to make 2 speeches and I want to be on form!