Suffolk Health and Well Being Board – a workshop
04/03/2011 Leave a comment
On Wednesday afternoon I and about a hundred others, gathered at a Community Hall in Ipswich for a workshop to launch the collective discussion on what the future Health and Well Being Board in Suffolk should look like.
On the face of it a very dry subject but for anyone who, like me, watched the Dispatches Programme on Monday night about the palliative care received by a few patients both in hospital and at home, was enraged by what I saw and I suspect happens all too often across the country this is a really important subject, that at some point in all our lives will be the difference between us being treated with respect or descending into a complex and confusing system of Orwellian complexity.
On Monday night its not that I was not so sorry for those who were receiving the care, for I was, its not that I did not feel for the families trying to navigate around a system that is clearly total madness, for I and anyone would, its not that I was enraged that professionals did not care or that no one was trying their best because clearly they mostly were; I found myself shouting at the TV because I know roughly how much each intervention costs and in almost all of what I saw it would have been cheaper to provide a 24/7 nursing staff in each case; to call an ambulance, attend A&E and be admitted is just about the most expensive nights stay its possible to have in this country and the sheer number of interventions to someone’s home costs a fortune particularly when it’s an Ambulance; we must, must do it better, it will be cheaper and provide a better quality of care.
That’s why I was so encouraged to see Councillors, Local Government Officers, Doctors and NHS Staff from across Suffolk come together and that the energy from the room was full on; as was the sheer determination for the new structure not to be bureaucratic and for it not to be a talking shop. The overriding need for people to genuinely pool budgets for the benefit of the residents of Suffolk was absolutely evident.
If we can sustain this energy and commitment through out the process of finding a better way to deliver health and social care in Suffolk, and come to think of it other services as well; I am sure the work being put in now can achieve cost savings and deliver a better standard of care for all of us.
I personally am looking forward to the next event as we work towards a new way of doing things here in Suffolk.