Sunday, 15 June 2008

Depressed Saturday but happy Sunday

The Wood Farm Community Centre . Saturday 9.30 . A Diabetes Clinic for newly diagnosed type 2....a 3 hour romp through the facts and fiction. I did not mind the diet and exercise advice. But when we got on to alcohol it got problematic. I have no issues with the idea of 2 days alcohol free per week . It's the 2-3 units per day . And the powers that be have decreed that more than 6 units is binge drinking . Now forgive me , but presented with a bottle of 1982 or 88 Chateau Lagune , Beychevelle or Lynch -Bages ( on a charity chief executive salary I'm afraid Lafite is out of the question ) I'm hardly going to say oh , sorry , don't pout me another!
However I'm happy to pass on a tip ; one way of obeying the instructions is to cut out the crap . All that industrial strength wine you get served up at receptions. It is almost a duty to say no , I'll have water . Quality , not quantity is the answer.

But the day was fantastically useful . Lots of practical information on what to eat , the labelling on foods and how to ensure effective balance in life styles. invaluable . Frankly it's advice we all need . Why does the health service not spend more time and effort on health promotion ?

What strikes me about the day is the waste of NHS resources. It has taken me a serious amount of time to get the appointment for this session . My Doctor suggested it might be useful ; but after that it was over to me . He was disinterested in whether I attended .And there was no chase up . If I had not persevered I would not have gone . And I really had to hassle to get one laid on for a Saturday . I assume the health service bureaucracy believe we all have jobs ( or none ) where we can give up a day at the drop of a hat . Would it not be so much better to outsource this work to Diabetes UK ? They would ensure a targeted service . They would follow up and ensure attendance. I suggest this would apply equally to the many millions of people who have long term chronic diseases. There are 2.5 million people with Diabetes ,and another 1 million likely to be undiagnosed. Why not hand over the running of the specialist services to the many highly competent and dedicated Third Sector organisations who could provide the type of professional and dedicated service that is needed? Why not let the NHS concentrate on its core competences and make proper use of the specialist health charities. I make this point to David Blunkett MP, who is much taken with the issue and says he will raise it with Gordon .

The session over I walk into Oxford ( the session is in Headington) . I'm feeling guilty about the 2 chocolate souffles I had Friday evening so I reckon a 1.5 hour walk will make amends. And I ring my nephew Alexander to see if he wants lunch . He does . We go to the Bear , the local Christ Church pub. He is getting ready for the Christ Church Commem Ball that evening ; is taking his sister Amy. It's his final day at Christ Church so another chapter in the book closes. But we talk about his prospects and he is already thinking about prep for All Souls . He has had a poetry review published. I tell him to look out for Ralph Michell , my new policy Advocate in acevo . He is due at the Ball ; he went down last year having gained a First and then being persuaded to join acevo where intellect and brilliance are highly valued.

A very fine pint of ale sitting in the sun . Followed by another . Oh dear that's 4 units . And later on in my courtyard at the cottage its a lovely cooling bottle of white Burgundy ; another 3 units. So according to the health professionals I was binge drinking . I await the visit from the local constabulary . Saturday is the anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. I toast our fast vanishing liberties.

Sunday evening and its Islington . Dinner with the charming and vivacious Director of the Gulbenkein Foundation ; swapping gossip about dear sector figures. And plotting an interesting new initiative on service delivery by the sector. We eat in the Albion , a gastro pub of some eminence , just round the corner from the Blair's old house. But times have moved on ; the kingdom of Fife and Kikcaldy is the fashion now , and I suspect a dearth of gastro pubs in GB's constituency . But perhaps as well . I have oysters and toast Stuart Etherington of ncvo doing the same in Whitstable. And another toast for my Chair John Low , who has become a Commander of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Well deserved , for all his work with acevo and previously with RNID.

1 comment:

Fintan Gaughan said...

The Deaf comunity is NOT happy with award that he got.
He was the most hated figure and besides he was nominated by hearing people.
So tell me exactly what did john Low did for the deaf? or are you just going by what false media reports.