Tuesday, 13 May 2008

care consulation - Our Voice !

Straight off the train from Leeds to the launch of the Government's major consultation on the social care system . On current trends there will be a 6 million pounds deficit in funding in future , in a system that is already cracking and where patent unfairness and inequality exist. As Polly Toynbee points out in a forceful article in the Guardian this morning , the baby boomer generation 9 of which I am a proud member ) will not put up with crap care and will be demanding personal services of the very best . But who will pay?
The Government are to be congratulated ( and Ivan Lewis the care minister in particular ) on launching this wide and broad consultation.
And it must be serious as we have no less that 3 Cabinet Ministers in the room . James Purnell , Hazel Blears and Alan Jonston.
James and Hazel in particular are superb . James is a real star and , along with Ed Miliband my tips for the very top in a future Labour Government . When that will be is an altogether different matter !

I believe the so called " personalisation agenda that Gordon brown has been advocating is key to driving forward public service reform . And the role of the third sector is paramount to this agenda. Although Government half gets this they still don't seem to be able to follow the logic through to empowering the sector with full cost funding , long term contracts and building organisational capacity.
Ivan Lewis makes a crucial point ; you cannot only talk about personal agendas without also talking about collective voice too. One of the crucial functions of our sector organisations is acting as voice and advocate for citizens , for clients and patients who often face enormous difficulty against the impenetrable walls of state and local authority bureaucracy. You cannot just empower individuals without empowering a collective voice . Spot on Ivan .
one of my Board members is Stephen Burke , who runs Counsel and Care. he is on the platform . he has been playing a crucial role behind the scenes in pushing this agenda. he rightly gets mentioned in the Polly Toynbee article .We chat with David Brindle of the Guardian afterwards and David remarks that the event is well and truly historic as it is the first he has attended where Bubb has not asked a question and banged the third sector drum. So , so true. the problem was I got stuck in a taxi and arrived at the end of the 3 Cabinet Ministers presentations and even I did not have the cheek to come straight in with a question on points i had not heard....David was surprised I was being so coy.
We are alerting all our 2200 members to the consultation and the need to respond.

Poor Gordon . you have to sympathise. First a left hook from Cherie on Saturday and then a right hook ( so to speak ) from " Prezza " on Sunday.Its all trivia of course , but then that's what makes it fun! I loved the story of Cherie introducing Chris Smith to Princess Margaret and she introduces hid partner . " Partner in what" says HRH . "Sex" replies Cherie. Good for Cherie!
The reason I was late for the consultation was that I had bean in Leeds at our acevo north office there and talking through our stakeholder and sector engagement strategy. We have bold plans and big ambitions for driving forward the professional agenda in the third sector in the North . Jenny , our newly appointed Director wants a big programme of professional development and representation for members , and we must expand our membership and reach so we can increasingly speak for the sector in the North. capacity building for our sector is the way in which we can make our voice heard and drive up the delivery of services through organisations close to their communities and to citizens.

i had an amazingly refreshing Whitsun weekend. the sun was glorious and the bottle of wine I consumed sitting in my courtyard watching the sun disappear was particularly agreeable. When they roll me into the high quality care home to which my loving partner will consign me I will have vetted the wine list in advance.And the cuisine had better be of the standard to which the third sector properly aspires.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The care consultation is a joke. I've met with Phillippa Russell and as soon as I put what Carers want to her, her head went down and she lost all interest.

We 24/7 Carers want to be paid for the work we do, not treated as feeble charity cases yet no one is listening to this and it's damn patronising.

There is a move to getting telemonitoring into the homes of disabled people (as the recent partnership between Carers UK and Tunstall Monitoring indicates) and what can be seen as a drive to get Carers back into full time employment, notice the stupidity of that logic? We (Carers) already ARE working as any 'paid' carer will tell you.

Ivan Lewis isn't listening, Phillippa Russell isn't listening, Carers UK have NEVER listened.

Oh, and the constant referral to there being 6 to 7 million Carers is a statistic which CANNOT be proved. There are around 2 million less Carers than this misinformation constantly states.