The investigation into the issues raised in the scrutineers’ report is ongoing.  All aspects are being looked at including sight impairment and employee and governance issues.

Jos Bell, the Chair of London Branch raised the issue of disabled members not always being able to attend Central Council or needing support to do so.  The Officers have agreed a “buddy” system where CC members who are disabled and who attend will be the people who will vote, but if they are unable to be present, then a deputy, usually their “buddy” can vote on their branches’ behalf. This is in line with our support for people with disabilities.

I continue to liaise with the various branches, including recently the Scottish branch, and on the 21st April attended the West Midlands AGM as a visitor and speaker.  I should like to thank them for their warm welcome.

Scottish Branch.  I visited Dave Watson in Glasgow, and the officers believe that we could learn a lot from the devolved countries.  Dave has been working directly with the Scottish government, and I found him inspirational.  They have done a great deal of work and the officers feel it would be good to hold a cross nations conference on renationalisation drawing on experience from Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

I have been working with HCT and the NPC, led by Brian Fisher on Care.  Care is exceptionally complex, but its success is crucial the success of the NHS.  Our longer-term plans are still not decided, but we hope to have an update on cooperative working and perhaps a conference or two soon.  Brian and Dame June Clark, are presenting on Care to the NPC Pensioners’ Parliament.

Finally, I attended a day course at the London International development Centre on Healthcare and Critical Realism. It is a full day course, run on a Saturday, and is completely free.  The people running it are leaders in their field.  One of the people attending was Alan Taman, press for HCT, Steve carne was also on the attendee list.  It was useful for networking and inspirational.  There will be at least one other opportunity, so if you would like to know more please email me or phone.  I found it sharpened and focused my thinking, and it reinforces the way we tend to think and work on NHS and care matters.

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