Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Patients and investing!

Patients are being put at risk because hospitals are employing untrained healthcare assistants. So says Cavendish in the report of her inquiry commissioned by Jeremy Hunt. The review, led by Times journalist Camilla Cavendish is calling for a new training and accreditation for the hundreds of thousands of assistants working in the NHS. She also warns that the current system, which does not even check if assistants can read or write, "does not currently guarantee the safety of the public".

Camilla was excellent in her interview on “Today". She is right to point to a culture that values high level medical interventions and staff over “basic" care and those who provide it. It’s true that in the hierarchy in health, care assistants rank pretty low. And it’s even more true when it come to all the informal care provided by families and charities. We are even lower down the order and often regarded as amateurs and marginal to the process.

 The recent report we did with the FTN looks at how we might work more closely with hospitals in the provision of health care. We should be looking at how our sector and professional trained and led volunteers can provide support on wards and in A+E.

It was a good day on which to go to the DH for the Provider Forum they have established to get the views of the public, private and third sector deliverers of health and social care. A useful meeting ahead of next week's important announcements from several of the reviews that have been set up recently. And a chance for some of us to express concerns over the slow pace of change on extending choice and diversity of providers.

And in the interval of this health day I did my Panel for the impact investing policy collaborative. They are developing the “London Principles" in an international conference where they are trying to set out parameters and guidance for Governments looking to use policy tools to bring private capital to support social action. I used my slot to talk about what the Social Investment Business has achieved over its 10 years and to warn against over elaborate use of impact measurement tools that act as a burden on the sector, and to promote the use of boring but vital unsecured loans as opposed to increasingly complicated models of social finance like quasi equity and social impact bonds. Vanilla is a good flavour so let's avoid those wanting to sell us ever more exotic new flavours.

And after all that it was good to get back to the garden in Brixton which has grown wild in recent days!

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