Thursday 2 June 2011

Listening ( not? )

I'm told that we have stopped listening. We are now writing. But heroically I'm carrying on listening and , as I multi task third sector like, I write and listen!

I've lost count of the revises I've now done on our upcoming Report " Delivering real choice". We have a small round table discussion in our attic on media etc handling. DH are threatening to lock me in a cupboard in case I leak. Though they should know by now I don't leak. I tell it brazen like.

I went to a good meeting today with the NHS Confed Partners Network , an umbrella body for all the independent providers in the health service ( the CEO is the dynamic and amusing David Worskett ) . For political reasons the private sector were excluded from the Future Forum so in my area I feel its only right to ensure I hear their views.

And very balanced and sensible they are. I still hold to the view that what matters is what is delivered , not who delivers it as Tony Blair said to us when the ACEVO board went to see him about increasing the role of the third sector in service delivery.

David later sends me some polling results they did. Worth repeating it here ,

"The work was originally done for us by Brunswick Research in late 2009 and fully validated to industry standards. It showed that 74% of respondents strongly agreed (51%) or agreed (23%) that they "don't mind who owns or runs my NHS services as long as the quality of care is right".

In terms of the other "headline" numbers, 85% agreed that "the NHS should be free at the point of use for all treatments" and 74% agreed "the NHS needs to change to survive".

The findings are in line with a number of other surveys done since - which I can't dig out in the time available, but I am certain that the point which can be made with complete confidence. The pollsters said to us " Don't worry about the public - they mostly "get it" to a surprising extent. It's the political classes who don't".

Strangely the Tories seem to have gone very limp on this recently! Did I hear they once said they wanted to redraw the boundaries of the state and citizen?

Recent revelations on Southern Cross , the disgraceful treatment exposed on Panorama last night and the shocking exposure of how elderly people are treated in some of our NHS hospitals shows we will need a rigorous regulator in health. The failure of the Care Quality Commission was worrying , though I heard from many people in this listening exercise that their budget is so constrained they find it problematic to do much more than licencencing. They clearly need to gear up their regulation arm. So having a strong Monitor is also vital.

There has been talk about " monster monitor" but actually their work, and that of the Care quality Commission is crucial in upholding standards. No one sector has a monopoly on good, or bad practise.

Now you probably saw the BBQ in the No 10 garden with Dave and Barack ( and Nick Hurd MP twitching the curtains to take a peep! ). What you probably didn't know was that the spare ribs came direct from my local butcher up Charlbury way , Slaters , purveyors of the Bubb christmas turkey.

And talking of food I harvested my first bowl of delicious Brixton strawberries from the back garden here. And raspberries too. So there Allison Ogden - Newton bragging about yours!!!

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