Friday 22 March 2013

Healthy Leeds

A tad tired today but had to drag myself off to Leeds. To the NHS headquarters; Quarry House. The new NHS structures are a mere 10 days away.

So my job was to talk to the managing directors of the new Commissioning Support Units.  19 of them will be giving advice to the brand new clinical commissioning groups. I was there to sell the third sector as the solution to many of their problems. I was impressed at the level of enthusiasm for the task ahead that they showed.

Report after report is showing just how poor many of our hospitals are. The real treasure is the fact that we offer a free, universal service to all, regardless of their wealth or position. Who delivers that free and universal service should be judged by what works best and who can best meet the needs and choices of patients and citizens. It’s time to move that tired old debate on so called “privatisation” on to giving patients real choice.

These new CSUs can be a route into the new commissioning structures for our members.  We talked about their “convening power" and the way they can link up many of our national charities and their expertise and the power to deliver health and social care services. We agreed to continue discussions and to work towards a partnership with charities through ACEVO. In true ACEVO style we will be holding a dinner of lead members and MDs of the CSU network.

A truly worthwhile meeting though it did mean I had to miss the Enthronement of the new Archbishop. I must say of the 2 Enthronements this week I think the English had it better than the Romans. No one does dignified ritual and singing better than the Anglicans. I watched the ceremony on the Ipad but not quite the same thing as being there!

Got a nice email from one of my members, Ruth Sutherland who runs Relate after we sent out our Budget briefing yesterday.

She was asking me to Relate’s Annual Lecture with Charles Handy, on Monday 15th April. The theme is;

“Work and home: rivals or partners? New thinking for new times. "

Relate is in its 75th year. It started in the great depression in the 30's and between world wars and now, in similar times, needed more than ever - Ruth says they have never been busier.

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