April has started with a whimper not a bang, strangled by greyness, crippled by cold and compounded by welfare, death and orphanages. That’s what the view from the hill looked like this week.
Maybe I should stop following the news, switch off twitter and bury my head in fiction and films. Maybe I should stop running and try slow walking, take a long bath rather than a quick shower and fill my days crocheting, gardening or baking. After all it might do as much good as looking at the world and watching things get worse. Continue reading
All of my daughter’s life I have fought hard to make her life the best it can be. This has taken me from being a laid back individual to the verge of a nervous breakdown and back. I have in my time been labelled neurotic, challenging, difficult, over-protective, pushy, demanding and unrealistic. At times, I may have been some of these things. I do not apologise. And I know, despite the fact we are now quite settled and work well with the professionals around her, I would not be afraid to fight for her should the need arise again. Yesterday we heard that parents of young people in Winterbourne View were amongst the most disenfranchised parents in the country. How did that happen? Continue reading
For the last 18 months I have been delivering a short talk on the transformative power of personal health budgets. In the same way that has happened in social care it is now possible to have a personal health budget instead of more traditional services like residential or agency care.
The reception has generally been warm. But within every room are the hardline doubters. You can usually spot them at the beginning: arms folded, huddled together, frowning faces.
After the talk come the questions. With recurring inevitability the first question will be regarding financial accountability. Continue reading
Yesterday, I attended the London Health and Wellbeing Boards conference without really having a clue about what they are. Beyond knowing that along with CCG’s (Clinical Commissioning Groups) they are an important part of the changing NHS landscape and potentially, at least, something as a citizen I should know about. Continue reading
I do not know how much local authorities spend on panels I am guessing it is not thousands of pounds a year but millions.
I have not sat on a panel, nor been to a panel, I do not really know precisely how they work or who sits on them, I do not know when they are held or where they are held, I do not know what is said or by whom. Continue reading