Wednesday, 27 April 2011

O joyful Eastertide

A day of contrasts. I started off with a meeting at Monitor, nicely situated behind Central Hall so I had a pop around the Abbey to see the preparations for The Wedding ( this was before the trees arrived ) !

Monitor will play a crucial role in regulating competition under the Bill so obviously a focus for attention. I'm not at all sure that calling it an " economic regulator" is a useful phrase. Our NHS is surely much more than economics? 

The relations between the new NHS Commissioning Board , Monitor and the GP consortia will be crucial. So how this is to work is a key focus for my enquiries. How does Monitor " promote competition" ? How does it intervene if it thinks that GP consortia are acting against the wider interest of patients and limiting choice by providing much more themselves and excluding other providers? 

The infamous Public Accounts Committee, under my old friend from London council days, Margaret Hodge MP has just published a report questioning how the new system will work in terms of efficiency and accountability. She raises good questions we should look at. I shall be in touch with her.

I rather took to David Bennett who runs Monitor. I have to say my initial impression , from when I appeared with him on the Bill Committee hearings at the Commons was not as favourable. A typical grey suit I thought. But he isn't. And indeed had a rather splendid tie in the Bubb mold. I left them with some thoughts. And we shall meet again.

Then it was off for an enjoyable lunch with my old friend Oliver Rothschild and a colleague of his, John Kearon, The chief juicer of Brain Juicer!

Brain juicer is a remarkable marketing company with a particular take on how marketing should be done- based on recognising and appealing to our emotions and not to our logic. We had a fascinating discussion about how this is relevant to charity campaigns and marketing. I'm going to get him to speak to The Impact Coalition.

Lunch over it was off to an hour's torture with my personal trainer and I recovered with planting geraniums.

And in case you think this is a rather light day of leisure I should add that this week the Acevo office is closed. We decided that because we could not afford to give our staff a pay rise this year and because they have been working so brilliantly and so hard we would give them the 3 days this week as leave so everyone can get a real rest and recovery and come back ready for new battles.

But the Boss of course gets no such break as he battles with health reforms.


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