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16 July 2013


My journey to the office. I am a creature of habit; I invariably wake and leave at the same time, always take the same route, have my trusty flask of Yorkshire Tea and no sooner as the engine’s turned over, the noise from Radio 2 pervades the empty space.  The sun must have got to me; this morning, I decided to flick over to Radio 4 and was fascinated to learn of Bristol City’s new innovation which enables residents to quite literally engage in conversation with the street furniture and utilities: 

Read the article on 2013 Shortlist by Watershed 

Now, this might seem like a wacky and innovative idea, but the key theme which will underpin its success is ‘local engagement’; engaging with the wider community – probably people you do not know – sharing stories, generating ideas, starting conversation and sparking debate.

Whilst one might feel a numpty sending a text to a lamppost, the premise itself is an interesting one. 

I am an optimist!  The Keogh review, which is being delivered to Parliament on Tuesday, 16 July is a good example of how the NHS can engage with stakeholders in a transparent and open way having encouraged the views of patients, staff and the public to be submitted by a website.  A blue print for regulation in the future…?

Certainly, Francis identified that a significant part of the Stafford story related to the voice of the local community in so much that it felt excluded from effective participation.  The concept of patient and public involvement in health service provision starts - and should be at its most effective - at the front line and there are a wide range of routes through which patients and the public can feed comments into health services.  Perhaps the future is: #Doctor Jones.  Hello. I have an issue / need an appointment / require treatment…?

Who knows…. In the meantime, I have a text from a lamppost in Bristol which has bid me a nice day – and the same to you.

Sarah Lovell, Consultant

Sarah is a Consultant in the Healthcare Practice, read Sarah's profile.

Categories: Healthcare


Sarah at 18/07/2013 16:28 said:

I agree that being business like is related to patient safety, Keith and that understanding how value and cost can create a better experience for the patient is key for today's leaders.

Keith at 18/07/2013 08:36 said:

Keogh and Francis both seek to involve clinicians and patients rather than managers, which is pragmatic to a point. That point being that effective implementation necessarily relies on trust management.
The continuous reference to staffing levels is not necessarily helpful. It ignores the many trusts which manage staffing effectively, are financially robust, and deliver high levels of patient care. I would go as far as saying that financial/resource efficiency and patient care are often directly related, both being performance aspects of the management capability.
Lamp posts? Surprised the council have money for this!

Tony at 16/07/2013 10:47 said:

It is difficult for NHS managers to articulate a pro-NHS message in the current climate - perhaps the local lamppost will be more enlightened!