Caroline Millar has investigated the furrows and fields of consultation and reviews for us the new crop of acronyms – she is now on the look out for a decent one to describe the sort of people who make a positive contribution to public life: Sensible Undervalued Citizens, Keen, Empowered and Rational. Got any (better) suggestions? Leave them as a comment on her article.
Consultation in 2009
Caroline was in action again in January on the topic of consultation after attending a round table session held by The Consultation Institute wondering what 2009 held for the future of consultation and making the point that “I am sure I am not the only person working in the field of public involvement who has been wondering what the impact of our current financial crisis will be on the work which organisations have been doing to engage with public and with public service users.” Again if you have your own views on that please tell us.
Send them back to MORI
Andrew Craig reminded us that while the season to be jolly may well have passed, for a sample of health care users, it definitely was the season to fill in that questionnaire and send it back to MORI (did you spot the rhyme?) He was gratified to be chosen “How kind of the Minister of State for Health, I thought, to take the time to write to me and about 5.5m other registered patients in England as part of the £8m exercise to find out more about patient experiences.”
As conscientious as ever where matters of health care are concerned, he managed to fill it in not just once but three times. We very much hope that this will not invalidate the national sample and look forward to seeing the data in due course.
Direct Payments for both Health and Social Care – a big step forward
The issue of individual commissioning budgets will become increasingly implemented as well as debated in 2009. Andrew wrote “The Health Bill 2009 introduced into Parliament on 15 January boosts the personalisation and choice agendas by enabling direct payments for healthcare to people in England. There are already 60,000 people receiving direct payments for social care. This is a big step towards the objective of individualised commissioning which joins up health and social care. MAC strongly advocates this for people with long term conditions who wish to take greater degrees of control over planning and delivering their own comprehensive services. More power to the user. It also points towards the achievement by 2010 of individually agreed care plans.” He went on to quote Jon Glasby, professor of health and social care at Birmingham University, who said, “personal budgets have allowed people in social care to be much more imaginative and use funds more carefully than the system did. There is no reason why this should not happen in health. However, it will need to be carefully introduced.”
We look forward to staying in touch with you in 2009.
And if your plans involve a trip on a plane, loosen up and prepare for your journey by joining me on a trip to the customer service theatre that is the check-in queue.