I have been considering if the governance arrangements of the CCG are effective using a guide which contains a series of questions as prompts one of which asks ‘Does the Board receive regular reports on ‘patients experience and patients involvement ( for example how patients feel about the way they are treated and what would make things better are their preferences respected ? is there sufficient information and support?) ‘ I personally feel the answer is that we could do better.
Therefore I would like to use this opportunity to ask if anyone is willing to tell our Governing body about their experience as a patient. Having a patient story related is common practice at the Hospital Board meetings though the story is presented by a doctor or nurse rather than the patient themselves having to be at the meeting. I would prefer it if the patient was able to be courageous enough to tell of their experience in their own words but know that for most people this would be daunting so I am offering to meet with anyone with a story to tell and passing this on for them to the other members of our governing body.
I met recently with some representatives from our black and minority ethnic community to look at one of our policies to see if it was fully inclusive. During discussions I was reminded of what it is like when you are unwell and are having to explain your symptoms using a language in which you are not fluent and the importance of having a translation service available. I have experienced this following a traffic accident in Germany and more recently in Spain. The anxiety you have about the situation is compounded by the communication problem. So Patient stories from those whose first language is not English will help us identify what more we can do to treat such people effectively.
Earlier that day I called in at the Lifeline project which operates from a shop front in Darwen St offering a service to young people with problems arising from misuse of Drugs and Alcohol. One of the things that concerns the workers is the increase in the use of what are called legal highs and interestingly these were talked about at one of the meetings at which Jack Straw together with reps from the council Police and CCG invite questions and comments from the public. The difficulty seems to be that even if a substance is made illegal a small change in the chemical composition of the tablet or liquid allows it to be again marketed as something that it is legal to sell. However being legal does not mean safe.
The safety and sustainability of the food we eat was considered at a seminar at Blackburn College. Colleagues from the council and Voluntary organisations talked about food waste, healthy eating , tackling food poverty and the possibility of developing a Sustainable Food Charter. I know that food plays a vital role in improving the health and well-being of us all. Food is involved in the causes of obesity and diet related ill health, there are issues around food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity. All these issues will be considered further by businesses and organisations but individuals are asked to consider if they can;
- Buy more local produce,
- grow their own food
- reduce food waste at home
- compost food waste
- cook meals from scratch
- and choose free range and responsibly sourced food.
Something to think about?