Friday, 21 February 2014

Addenbrookes, Arthur Rank and the Budget

In Cambridge for the day! At Addenbrookes Hospital - one of the biggest in the country and one of the many charity hospitals set up by philanthropists in past times, this one in the 17th century. 

I was meeting with the CEO (a brilliant Australian former lung transplant surgeon) and some of his top team, and then with a group of the dynamic local third sector. 

We were exploring the potential for a consortium that can work to reduce admissions for the elderly, and to do more intensive prevention and support  work with people with long term conditions. A promising day. I think we may pull something off here which will act as a beacon for other hospitals. 

It was then off to see an old friend, Lynn Morgan, who runs the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge. Rather cool to be there on the day the architect had arrived with the plans for their new hospice building. They need to raise nearly £8m for this. They have the land and they have about £5m already so it’s hands on deck to get the rest. Lynn will do it though.

Supporting Hospices is such an important thing to do. It’s where our charity sector is at its best. Providing the care and compassion, and the flexibility of approach that can so often be lacking in the culture of the NHS. Supporting people at the end of their lives and helping families and friends cope with bereavement is such a crucial task. As Lynn said it is clear that families cope much better with death if they feel their loved one has passed with love and dignity. So often a death in hospital can be a bleak affair. 

The day was then rounded off by a most pleasant meal with Lynn and my newest member of the ACEVO team; Mark Winter, at Midsummer House, one of Cambridge's notable eating places. Go there!

Lastly, great to report real interest in my letter to the Chancellor, especially on our proposal for a Community Regeneration Fund. We are working on how to put flesh on the bones of this proposal. It has sparked interest. It would be great to see it in the Budget. Let's see! 

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