Monday, 2 May 2011

I’ve had my say – have you had yours?

Thanks to Easter and the Royal Wedding we have enjoyed the ‘pause’ recommended by Andrew Lansley but I must confess that I have spent very little time ‘reflecting’ as I focussed on a calorific Easter, alcoholic Royal wedding and the tense progress of Manchester United towards a Premiership/Champions League double.

But alas reality bites and we are back at the coalface tomorrow. A quick trawl though the newspapers and other news channels suggests that a shift may be gradually starting.

A piece in the Daily Telegraph focuses in a GP who earned over £600,000 last year, alongside several more high earning GPs. The BBC website also featured a story outlining that NHS foundation Trusts will be tasked with higher efficiency savings than expected. The implications of the lion share of power to primary care is beginning to reach the public consciousness.

However cynical one may feel towards this ‘listening exercise’ – this really is a chance to at least try to get your opinion noted. A GP I spoke to recently said that just because he attended the meetings about a new consortia in the area – it didn’t mean he approves. He told me that he goes as a ‘damage limitation exercise’ but he fears that ‘they’ (whoever ‘they’ are) see his attendance as compliance and agreement.

With the Alternative Voting system debate expected to gain momentum in its final stages, we are being given an opportunity to express our views through a referendum. This will not be an option for the Health and Social Care Bill so the NHS Future Forum maybe our best chance to get our voice heard.

I am not a member of any union but could not fail to be impressed by the Unison (public service trade union) TV advert a few years ago. It has been heralded as one the best ads ever created. A cartoon bear sits in the middle of the screen, happily ignorant of a very small ant trying to get his attention. Then another ant joins, and another, and another. Until finally they all shout together and the bear jumps out of the way. Simple, wonderful representation of how a lone voice may be inaudible – but you multiply that voice manifold, and even the worst listener in the world cannot fail to hear.

I’ve never been compared to an ant before – but at least I have posted my comments and constructive suggestions on the Department of Health Website.

Have you?


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