Thursday 21 January 2010

Yes, its true; we do have more Impact!

Every so often we beat ourselves up about our "evidence base". We bemoan the lack of statistics that show the impact third sector service delivery makes. How more cost effective it is. How much better at delivering personal , client focused service. But we know its true. It's obvious and its commonsense, so don't give in to the accountants who wants us to measure everything.

But dear David Brindle rides to the rescue in Guardian Society this week. In a brilliant and humorous Leader he writes,

"Finally, we have it: pilot-tested, fully costed, independently evaluated, cast-iron evidence that investment in preventive social care services more than pays for itself in savings to the NHS . For every £1 spent on such services to support older people, hospitals save £1.20 in spending on emergency beds. Official."

He goes on to say:

"Now there can be absolutely no excuse, whether for not starting to collaborate across the great divide between health and social care or for chopping preventive services as an early response to the coming public expenditure squeeze.

As the Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, said on Monday at the launch of the research evidence, it made "a powerful and persuasive argument for putting prevention first – not first out the door".

We all know that public spending will be cut. Hospital care is hugely expensive. If we expand on third sector provision of community care and support , as well as our work on prevention we can help cut spending and improve services. A spectacular offer.

Wednesday started, as it always does , with a meeting of my Director's Group. 2 meaty items; our renewed Leadership Development offer and our budget. We have a new PD Head, Julia Richards who is based in Leeds. She has been talking to members about how we ensure our Professional development courses and support can aid CEOs in challenging times. No one is going to be signing up for expensive courses on airy fairy subjects beloved by trainers. They want practical support when they have difficult decisions to make.

So we will be offering some interesting, and cutting edge programmes that do that.I've signed up for one on NLP (of course you know what that is don't you!)

And of course ACEVO is in the unique position that it focuses all it does on the CEO. It's brazenly elitist. And rightly so. David Cameron would approve!

Then a fantastic meeting with Said Ahmad, the CEO of the Muslim Agency for Development and Enterprise (MADE!). They are keen to promote cross cultural learning and they have programmes to encourage Muslim Youth to get involved in mainstream campaigning and not just issues affecting only Muslim communities. For example they teamed up with Christian Aid to take a group of young people to Copenhagen to lobby at the doomed Climate Summit. They are also campaigning in their own community to get scholars and leaders to recognise the problem of maternal mortality; it is very much higher in Muslim countries and not being tackled because of what are perceived to be religious difficulties in talking about such an issue. It was a rewarding and fascinating discussion and Saif is a persuasive and effective leader. He is going to come and speak at ACEVO's faith CEO special interest group.

An evening at home (unusual) and we guiltily eat a lasagne as I notice the rating on the packet indicates I should be avoiding a high sugar meal. My Deputy, the estimable Dr Kyle, has been supervising my eating habits and checking up on my non adherence to proper nutrition and I am becoming paranoid about those lovely charts they have on packaging these days. No bad thing, of course. It's all about prevention. David Brindle would approve.

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