The NHS seems to be dominating my life this week. Quite apart from the news headlines, it has involved two visits to the doctors and a blood test so far ..but I am on the mend I am pleased to report. All I can say is, a 45 minute wait for a blood test and excellent advice from my GP surgery receptionist (the real power in the NHS as you all know) leads me as usual to a personal conclusion about how good the service is. The conundrum is why we are all so easily convinced that it is not by the time we get home.
In the meantime, as you know, I have a blue and yellow phone in my lounge. This is so I can take direct calls from the Coalition Government Ministerial team at the Department of Health about pressing issues of state (and, yes, I have a red phone as well before people accuse me of bias!). Now that ‘The Killing’ is over I have found I have more time than ever to provide wise counsel.
So I was pleased that my suggestion of a summit (mentioned in this blog a few days ago) has been so speedily (part) adopted as reported in the FT online this afternoon. It says that a number of ‘expert panels’ will look at the reforms with a fresh eye. But can anyone tell me why there isn’t one on research? Perhaps the phone went out at that moment in the call, I can not remember. Anyway, the Department of Health news release is here. The whole exercise is being called the NHS Future Forum and is going to be Chaired by Birmingham GP, Steve Field.
Looking at the strands, I absoluteoly get the first three. However, the fourth (about health professionals advice influencing patient care) seemed a little thin although it is hard to tell fully without seeing the terms of reference.
So I was going to call the Department when I realised that, as it was set-up some months ago, I can only take incoming calls from them. I’ll let you know when it can make outgoing calls as well as part of the new Department listening exercise.